Visitors and buyers commented that my early reed grasses reminded them of cattails. During a visit to Ambles (Minneapolis near Franklin & Cedar Ave) I found some large rusted turnbuckles that might just be the candidate needed to complete a cattail piece. The turnbuckle helped to convey the feel of the cattails moving in a light wind.
Later I experimented with splitting the ends of pieces of pipe and was able to attain the 'hot dog on a stick' look of natural cattails. It has proven to be a popular adaptation.