Marigolds are nice, but how about something really different this year? If you've always had the same plants, year after year, how about a little springtime magic in the garden, instead? The idea that a garden has to contain certain plants is too old fashioned for words. There are so many interesting, exciting and unique ways to make a garden special and different from all the rest. Why not have a show place that draws attention? Something as vibrant as the Red Hot Cattails is such an attention grabber that it also sparks curiosity.
Almost everyone is familiar with cattails. They are the plants that grow in moist locations such as: along the banks of swamps, ponds, drainage areas, etc. They resemble hotdogs on a stick. When these lengthy brownish parts mature they get fuzzy. So, in all, the plant itself is not very attractive. But this rare plant called the Red Hot Cattail is!
Acalypha hispida is the Latin name for this plant. From a distance you can see the bright red cattails as if it were an explosion of a firecracker. They do not look like the traditional cattail. In fact, the plants are smaller, the fuzzy "blooms" of the plant are long, and it can bloom all year. The plant can grow up to ten feet high and approximately four feet wide. It needs to have a lightly shaded area to thrive in.
The plant will not set seeds so you won't have to worry about the blooms being fertile. With many flowers they set seeds and can dominate the area such as some marigolds which can make them invasive. It actually takes the leaves and stems to make more plants. One word of warning with this rare beauty, they are poisonous if eaten. It is perfect for people that do not have small children or babies that play unattended outside or animals that will eat anything and everything. Supervision is highly recommended if you do.
The bright red blooms of this cattail plant does not come in any other color, hence the name. But, Red is very pleasing to the eye and can provide that explosion of color to any garden or yard setting.