I have been in love with Chinese lanterns since I was a small girl and could only refer to them as "those cute orange flowers that look like baby pumpkins." This is why I was so delighted when we went into the Michael's store in Warwick, RI, and found not only cattails but the beautiful orangy lanterns as well. I had never seen them in either Michael's or JoAnn in Georgia. We packed some other fall flowers that we bought, but carefully brought the cattails and Chinese lanterns home on the shelf at the back of the car. I finally found a lovely terra cotta vase for them a few weeks back, but the grouping still looked a bit empty.
While I was looking around JoAnn today, I came upon a floral stem that someone had left in the scrapbooking supplies: Chinese lanterns! Sure enough, this year they had a few scant stems. Theirs were colored a bit like a candle flame, reddish at the bottom shading to yellow at the tip, but still acceptable.
By the way, I never knew until a few years ago that cattails were Biblical. Those "bulrushes" that Moses was left in were cattails.
Here's more about Chinese lanternsI didn't know they were perennials.