Cattail Flower


Uncover Hidden Flowers meanings

Cattail flowers are all about peace and you can think about this like an olive branch in the peak of a dove (famous symbol for peace). 

If you’re thinking about what flower to give the friend you had a “falling apart” with, it’s going to be the cattail.  Considering your friend knows what this flower means, you’ll mend your differences in no time.

On another note, cattail flowers also represent prosperity.  This means that there have to be a clash between you and a buddy for you to give out a gift of a cattail flower.  An opening of a new business is a great time for you to send cattail – as a way for you to wish them good luck and prosperity.

Also, it’s surely going to be a special gift for the people close to your heart.  Everyone else is giving away carnations and bells of Ireland and here you are, offering the ultimate symbol of peace and prosperity with the cattail flower.

  • Name:  Cattail Flower
  • Color:  Cattail flowers start off as green and then gradually turn to brown.
  • Shape:  Just as the name implies, the cattail flower looks like a cattail. However, it’s not that long so instead you can look at it as more of a tube shape or a cylindrical shape.  You can even think about it as shaped as a hotdog on a stick.
  • Fact:  The cattail flower is also known as a typha.  It’s mainly a monocotyledonous plant that thrives with its ripe heads (seeds attached to the fine hair of the cattail) being blown in the wind like cotton.
  • Poisonous:  These grass-like plants are not poisonous.  For the most part, they’re even edible.
  • Number of Petals:  Cattails don’t have petals.  Rather, it has small bristles.
  • Victorian Interpretation:  Albeit its simple looks, it symbolizes peace and prosperity.  Many a-feud, misunderstandings and severed relationships were patched up by this plant in the Victorian times.
  • Blossom Time:  The typha produces cattail flowers in May to July.  But some cattails can also bloom until September - just so the seeds have time to ripen up and be dislodged in the wind.


As a symbol of peace, it is eerily coincidental that people fighting with someone (like a neighbor or a friend) becomes friends again when either one gives out a cattail flower. The thing is, the cattail flower was much more effective in the olden days simply because everyone knew what these flowers meant – a sign of truce.  Today, giving out cattail flower may not spawn similar result just like in the past – obviously because not too many know what it actually mean - a genuine apologetic gesture.

  • The Shape:  Cattail flowers are long and cylindrical shaped flowers.  They don’t really look like flowers but more of hotdogs on a stick.  The cylindrical spike is the female portion of the flower while the yellow spike on top is the male portion.
  • Petals:  Since it’s shaped like a cylinder, cattail flowers don’t really have petals.  They have something like a dandelion’s florets when the seeds are ripe.
  • Numerology:  Just the way the cattail flower looks, it’s also a number 1 in numerology.  This relates to leadership, independence as well as individuality.  Its symbol is the sun and also means ambition and aggressiveness.
  • Color:  Cattails start off as green but once the female flowers are fertilized, they turn brown.

Herbalism and Medicine:  

Cattails might not be used as additions to your bouquet but they can be used for food.  Particularly with the stem that grows underground, you can get a lot of energy from this flower.  As for the spike, you can eat it like corn on a cob that gives off nutrients.

The fuzz from the flowers can be used to treat sores and burns as well as prevent chaffing especially in babies. For diarrhea, the ingestion of young cattail flowers can gradually stop the urge to pooh.

By Florance Saul
Aug 17, 2012