Typha domingensis Pers.

Southern Cattail
Typhaceae (Cattail Family)


Southern cattail is a tall marshland perennial reaching 9'-10' in height.  There are 6-9 light yellowish-green parallel-veined leaves which equal or slightly exceed the female spikes, are 1/4" to 1/2" wide, moderately convex on the back, sheathed to the blade, and gland-dotted on the inside near the base.  Like other cattails, this species has separate pistillate and staminate flowering spikes on the same axis, the pistillate below and the staminate above, with a naked section of stem between the two that is about 3/4" long.  Both spikes are 6" to 10" long, the pistillate spike 5/8" to 7/8" wide, bright yellow to orange-brown, and the staminate spike narrower and tapering to the tip. The fruit is a minute, spindle-shaped achene which is easily deciduous and dehiscent in water.  Southern cattail inhabits many of the same areas as its cousin latifolia, which are year-round streams, and the edges of ponds, lakes and freshwater marshes below 5000', throughout California and ranging across the southern tier of states to the Atlantic Coast, the Caribbean, South America and Europe.  It blooms from June to July.  These pictures were taken in the Santa Susana and Santa Monica Mountains.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Typha 2) domingensis.
Pronunciation: TIE-fa do-min-GEN-sis.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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