broad-leaved cattail

(Typha latifolia)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

broad-leaved cattail

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

OBL - Obligate wetland

Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Wet to damp. Marshes, ditches, shallows. Full sun.

Flowering

May to July

     
Flower Color

Green, drying brown

     
Height

3 to 9

     

Identification

This is a 3 to 9 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single stem or cluster of stems from a thick, mostly horizontal, unbranched rhizome. It grows in muddy soil, often with its roots underwater.

The stems are erect, stiff, unbranched, light green, hairless, and round in cross section. They are to ¾ thick in the middle, to ¼ thick near the inflorescence.

The leaves are mostly basal, alternate, bluish-green to grayish-green, linear, and flat on the back. They are to 1 wide, though usually no more than wide, usually slightly longer than the flowering spike. They sheath the stem at the base and taper to a sharp point at the tip. They have parallel veins but do not have a prominent midrib. When fresh they are usually covered with a whitish, waxy bloom (glaucous).

The inflorescence is a dense spike of minute staminate (male) and pistillate (female) flowers at the end of the stem.

The staminate-flowered portion of the spike is above and usually contiguous with, not separated by a length of naked stem from, the pistillate-flowered portion. When in flower it is to ¾ thick and about as long as the pistillate portion. The male flowers are straw-colored to colorless.

The pistillate-flowered portion of the spike is 2 to 10 long and 3 16 to 5 16 thick when in flower. When in fruit it is brown and 1 to 1¼ thick. The female flowers are light green at first, drying brown.

The fruit is a thin-walled achene with hairs attached.

 
Similar
Species

Narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia) has narrower, green leaves that are up to ½ wide, convex on the underside, and extend well above the flowering spike. The staminate spike of the flowering stalk is separated from the pistillate spike ½ to 4¾. When in fruit, the pistillate spike is no more than thick.

In places where both species occur broad-leaved cattail hybridizes with narrow-leaved cattail producing plants with characteristics that are intermediate between the two parent species.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Typhaceae (cat-tail)

 

Subfamily:

Typheae

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

broad-leaved cattail

broadleaf cattail

common cattail

Cooper’s reed

giant reed-mace

great cattail

soft flag


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

glaucous

Pale green or bluish gray due to a whitish, powdery or waxy film, as on a plum or a grape.

 

rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

sheath

The lower part of the leaf that surrounds the stem.

       

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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Plant

  broad-leaved cattail   broad-leaved cattail
       

Female Inflorescence

  broad-leaved cattail   broad-leaved cattail
       

Infructescence

  broad-leaved cattail   broad-leaved cattail
       
  broad-leaved cattail    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Typha latifolia
Matt Lavin
 
  Typha latifolia  
 
About

The monoecious species often forms dense stands in standing year-round water. The staminate inflorescences sits above and adjacent to the pistillate inflorescence.

 
     
  Broad-leaved Cattail (Typha latifolia)
Bill Keim
 
  Broad-leaved Cattail (Typha latifolia)  

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  Common Bulrush (Typha Latifolia) - 2012-06-11
W3stlander
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 12, 2012

Typha latifolia (Bulrush, Common Bulrush, Broadleaf Cattail, Common Cattail, Great Reedmace, Cooper's reed, Cumbungi) is a perennial herbaceous plant in the genus Typha

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De grote lisdodde (Typha latifolia) is een plant uit de lisdoddefamilie (Typhaceae)

 
     
  Cattail and Bulrush part 2
jodajean1
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 28, 2012

A comparison between narrowleaf cattail and common cattail as well as a comparison between hardsterm bulrush and great bulrush.

 
     

 

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