Bur-reeds are the closest relative of cat-tails, and have recently been included in that family. They have the same habitats, but don't get as tall. This species gets to a couple of feet tall or so. The flower arrangement is also similar, with male flowers toward the end of the spike, and female below. Those balls of pistillate flowers ultimately ripen into a ball of seeds with spiky points where the stigmas attached - hence, bur-reeds. American bur-reed grows in swamps and on shores in AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL(E), IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, MB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC, and on SPM. Lenawee Co MI, 6/27/17.