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Typha angustifolia

Typha angustifolia L.

Typha angustifolia L. var. calumetensis Peattie

Typha angustifolia L. var. elongata (Dudley) Wiegand

Narrow-leaved Cattails, Narrowleaf Cattail, Lesser Bulrush, Lesser Reedmace

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassCommelinidaeDayflowers and spiderworts, and several others
OrderTyphalesA group including reedlike wetland plants such as cattails
FamilyTyphaceaePlants, such as cattails, with a single flower spike that has both male and female flowers
GenusTyphaFrom Greek tufh (typhe), “cattail”
Speciesangustifolia“Having narrow foliage”

About plant names...

Narrowleaf cattail is now common in North American fresh to brackish wetlands, but it may originally have come from Europe. The straplike leaves may be woven into mats and chairs, as well as thatch.

Plants: A stiff unbranched stem 3-7' (91-213 cm) tall is light green to green, and round. See this comparison of narrowlead and broadleaf cattails.

Leaves: Up to four straplike leaves (up to 16 by some accounts), each 18-72" (45-182 cm) long, parallel the stem, or spread slightly away from it. They are very narrow, only ⅛-⅜" (3-12 mm) across, and flat. Leaves attach to the base of the plant, resembling giant blades of grass, and having similar parallel leaf veins. Viewed in cross-section, the leaves are slightly bent into a crescent shape.

Flowers: A dense, dark brown nearly perfect cylinder perches vertically atop each stem, like a dark brown hot dog skewered for the campfire. Well actually two hot dogs, separated by 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) of stem. The upper flower spike is lighter in color and narrower, and is the male (staminate) portion; while the lower female (pistillate) spike is green, turning to dark brown. Flowers appear from May to June.

Fruits: As the flowers mature they become soft and light tan in color, releasing tiny nutlets borne on soft hairs.

Edibility: Dormant sprouts on roots and leaf bases, the inner core of the stalk, green bloom spikes, and starchy roots are edible. Roots may be boiled like potatoes.

Online References:

Typha angustifolia at Illinois Wildflowers

Typha angustifolia on Earl J.S. Rook's Flora, Fauna, Earth, and Sky ... The Natural History of the Northwoods

Typha angustifolia on Wikipedia

Typha angustifolia on www.bwsr.state.mn.us

Typha angustifolia on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Typha angustifolia at the United States Geographical Society's Nonindigenous Aquatic Species site

Typha angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Cattails, Narrowleaf Cattail, Lesser Bulrush, Lesser Reedmace)

7/2/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 10 × 15" (26 × 39 cm)

Typha angustifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 9 Oct 2017.

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Typha angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Cattails, Narrowleaf Cattail, Lesser Bulrush, Lesser Reedmace)

8/20/2009 · Hayes Woods Nature Trail, Shirley St., Pepperell, MA
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm) ID is uncertain

Typha angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Cattails, Narrowleaf Cattail, Lesser Bulrush, Lesser Reedmace)

6/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 17 × 25" (43 × 62 cm) ID is uncertain

Typha angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Cattails, Narrowleaf Cattail, Lesser Bulrush, Lesser Reedmace)

7/2/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 12" (20 × 31 cm)

Typha angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Cattails, Narrowleaf Cattail, Lesser Bulrush, Lesser Reedmace)

7/2/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 12" (20 × 31 cm)

Range:

About this map...