Umbrella plant

A big favourite with cats

The umbrella plant, also known as Cyperus alternifolius, is very cheerful. This green house plant with its umbrella shape (the clue’s in the name) is a big favourite with cats. If you’re out of kibble you can happily let them chew on a bit of umbrella plant. Preferably not, of course, because although this green companion is literally good enough to eat, it’s more fun when left in its full glory.

Colours and shapes

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly plant, the umbrella plant is an excellent choice. Long stems grow out of the underground rhizome, bearing pointy leaves in a ring. This houseplant can grow to a height of 1 metres. If Kitty has taken an a real shine to the plant, you can easily cut away the damaged or disfigured leaves.


There’s no symbolism for the umbrella plant, but if critical cats consider it their favourite, it must be a purrrrfect plant. Finally you've got something in your home that won’t be knocked off the windowsill by a furry paw.


The umbrella plant is a tropical swamp plant which is native to East Africa and Madagascar, where it can easily grow to 2 to 3 metres tall. Fun fact: the umbrella plant is related to the papyrus plant, which was used in ancient times to make paper.