Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Typha latifolia
broad-leaf cat-tail, common cattail

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North Americca to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Marshes, ponds and shallow slow-flowing water, sea level to mid-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Monoecious, perennial herbs of wet places from extensive rhizomes, the stems 1-3 m. tall, erect, cylindrical and pithy.


Leaves alternate, sheathing, linear, the blades 8-20 mm. broad, grayish-green.


Flowers naked in terminal, cylindrical, spike-like inflorescences, the staminate above the pistillate, the two portions contiguous; staminate flowers consisting of 2-5 stamens borne directly on the main axis, intermixed with slender hairs; pistillate flower a single, 1-celled pistil; pistillate section 12-30 mm. thick, brown, the surface minutely pebbled; abortive ovaries pear-shaped.


Fruit dry, 1 mm. long, ellipsoid.

Accepted Name:
Typha latifolia L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 971. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Typha latifolia in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Typha latifolia checklist entry

OregonFlora: Typha latifolia information

E-Flora BC: Typha latifolia atlas page

CalPhotos: Typha latifolia photos

50 photographs:
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