NCBG North Carolina Botanical Garden

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. - J.R.R. Tolkien

Scientific Name: or show all plants or perform combination search
Plant Family:

Typha latifolia

Typha latifolia L.

broadleaf cattail, common cattail

Typha latifolia (Broadleaf Cattail)
image by Sorrie, Bruce A.
NCBG PLANT INDEX
ID_PLANT: TYLA
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Typha latifolia
GENUS: Typha
FAMILY: TYPHAC - Typhaceae (Cattail Family)

NCBG DESCRIPTIVES
INTRO: Emergent aquatic perennial of fresh waters of ponds, lakes, ditches and marshes, including tidal freshwater marshes. Forms dense colonies.
STEMS: Stems stout, stiff, unbranched.
LEAVES: Leaves mostly basal, alternate and overlapping, with a sheathing base, linear, to 10 ft. long and no more than 1 in. wide, loosely twisted, more or less flat, smooth.
INFLORESCENCE:
FLOWERS: Flowers in a cylindridal terminal spike broken into 2 sections without a gap between, the lower all female (pistillate) flowers and to 7 in. long, and the upper all male (staminate) flowers and also to 7 in. long. The tiny flowers are densely packed, the female ones starting out pale green and becoming dark brown, the male ones yellowish-brown.
FRUITS: Fruit numerous minute nutlets tufted with fluffy tawny hairs. Photo here shows plants with mature fruit.
COMMENTS:
HEIGHT: 5-10 ft.

DURATION: Perennial
HABIT: Herb

LEAF ARRANGEMENT: Basal
LEAF COMPLEXITY: Simple
LEAF RETENTION: Evergreen

FLORAL
SYMMETRY:
BLOOM TIME: May-Jul
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
x x x x

BLOOM COLOR: Green or greenish-yellow and brown
White Red Pink Orange Yellow Green Blue Lavender Purple Violet Brown Not Applicable
x x x

FRUITING PERIOD: Jun-Nov.

DISTRIBUTION
HABITAT TYPE: Aquatic
NATIVE RANGE: North America & Mexico

HORTICULTURAL
Plant Sale Text: The cat-tail is an often overlooked yet fascinating plant. What we call the cat-tail is the brown portion that holds thousands of hairs attached to seeds. During the summer, the flower was green and contained the female parts, while a spike at the top, which can still be observed, was covered with male parts releasing pollen. As the female reproductive parts are pollinated they turn from green to dark brown and the seeds develop. The seeds mature by the fall and are released in the winter. Interestingly almost every part of the cat-tail was used by Native Americans as food except for the mature, brown cat-tails, which are used by the cat-tail moth for food and shelter.

Cultural Notes:

SOIL MOISTURE:
LIGHT EXPOSURE:
MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE:
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE:
GERMINATION CODE:
WILDLIFE VALUE:
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
USDA Symbol: TYLA
USDA Common Name: Broadleaf Cattail
Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), HI (I), CAN (N)
Distribution: USA (AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY), CAN (AB, BC, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, ON, PE, QC,
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Forb/herb

NATIONAL WETLAND INDICATOR STATUS

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2016 National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.3 (Lichvar, R.W., D.L. Banks, W.N. Kirchner, and N.C. Melvin. 2016. The National Wetland Plant List: 2016 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2016-30: 1-17. Published 28 April 2016. ISSN 2153 733X). Regions: AGCP-Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, AK-Alaska, AW-Arid West, CB-Caribbean, EMP-Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, GP-Great Plains, HI-Hawaii, MW-Midwest, NCNE-Northcentral and Northeast, WMCV-Western Mountains, Valleys & Coast
WEAKLEY FLORA
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Typha latifolia
COMMON NAME: Common Cattail
SYNONYMY: [= C, F, FNA, G, GW, K, Pa, RAB, S, Va, W, WH3, WV, Z]
PHENOLOGY: May-Jul; Jun-Nov.
HABITAT: Fresh waters of ponds, lakes, ditches, marshes, including in tidal freshwater marshes.
COMMENTS: NL (Newfoundland) west to AK, south to FL, TX, CA, and Mexico; Central America; South America; Eurasia.
RANGE MAP: Typha latifolia.png

Key to Map Symbols.

ABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora)
Typhaceae A.L. de Jussieu 1789 (Cattail Family)
SUMMARY: A family of 2 genera with 16-30 species, wetland herbs, cosmopolitan. The combination of the traditional families Typhaceae and Sparaganiaceae is controversial; while there is no doubt of their sister relationship, they are amply distinct and arguably best and conservatively retained as separate families.
REFERENCE: Kaul in FNA (2000); Smith in FNA (2000); Thieret & Luken (1996); Kubitzki in Kubitzki (1998b). [including SPARGANIACEAE]
ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora)
Typha Linnaeus 1753 (Cattail)
SUMMARY: A genus of 8-13 species, wetland herbs, cosmopolitan.
REFERENCE: Ward (2007a)=Z; Smith in FNA (2000); Kubitzki in Kubitzki (1998b). Key adapted from FNA.

Seeds of Success (SOS)

SOS_NUM COL_DATE PERS_NUM STATE ECOREGION_III DETAIL
221 2015-08-04 65 North Carolina 63 Show
235 2015-08-17 64 North Carolina 63 Show
237 2015-08-17 59 North Carolina 63 Show
239 2015-08-18 64 North Carolina 63 Show
242 2015-08-18 65 North Carolina 63 Show
247 2015-08-18 64 North Carolina 63 Show
262 2015-08-26 59 Virginia 63 Show
552 2016-09-28 3 North Carolina 63 Show
579 2016-10-04 3 Maryland 65 Show

HERBARIUM RESOURCES
SERNEC: Find Typha latifolia in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)
UNC SERNEC: Find Typha latifolia in University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)

WEB RESOURCES
USDA: Find Typha latifolia in USDA Plants
NPIN: Find Typha latifolia in NPIN Database
FNA: Find Typha latifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Typha latifolia

NCBG RECORD
ID IMAGE1: 17951
ID IMAGE2: 0
ID IMAGE3: 0
Include in WOTAS: 1
Publish to Web: 1
Last Modified: 2018-01-10

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32 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

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