Cattails are wetland plants with a unique flowering spike, flat blade like leaves that reach heights from 3 to 10 feet. They are one of the most common plants in large marshes and on the edge of ponds. Under the right conditions, cattails can grow and spread vigorously. The pollinated flowers develop into fluffy seed heads, blowing across a pond in autumn breezes. Just as commonly, cattails spread through their root system. In fact, cattails at the edge of pond can grow faster than fertilized corn in a field! Holbein watercolors in a Stillman and Birn Sketchbook.