The picturesque brown of the cat-tails begins to show itself in August. The long, round stem from a creeping rootstock may grow to 5 or 6 feet in height. The dense, cylindrical head of flowers makes a spike; staminate flowers above, pistillate below. No sepals or petals. The pistils are supported upon long stalks which arc covered with knobbed, fine bristles, and these later form the down by which the ripe seed is carried by the wind. Marshes and borders of ponds throughout North America.