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Several years ago I had a cattail seed germinate in one of my tanks, and it became a pretty little plant with slightly twisted leaves with a 'window screen' pattern of veins. It got big rapidly and produced straight floating leaves and was preparing to send up emersed leaves when I pulled it out. If I had trimmed it back and kept it small, it probably would have remained in its submersed form. A group of these small plants would be quite decorative.

This time of the year, cattails are going to seed. Try collecting a bunch of the seeds and germinating them.
Yes, this plant can sometimes be found in very deep water in the wild and lying across the top of the water. Another good plant that would be interesting to experiment with is the dwarf cattail Typha minima. I bet it would work well in a planted tank. There are a lot of pond/marginal plants that are ignored.
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