Cattails
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Types of Cattails

Scientific Classification

Kingdom
:
Plantae 
        Division:
Magnoliophyta 
                Class:
Liliopsida 
                        Order: Typhales 
                                Family: Typhaceae 
                                        Genus: Typha 
                                                Species: 
                                                ScientificName                         Common Name 
                                                1. Typha angustifoli                    Narrow leaf Cattail 
                                                2. Typha domingensi                    Southern Cattail 
                                                3. Typha latifolia                          Broad leaf Cattail 
                                                4. Typha laxmanii                         Dwarf Cattail 
                                                5. Typha minima 
                                                6. Typha schuttleworthii 
                                                7.
Typha ×glauca                          Hybrid Cattail

CattailsCommon Name: Hybrid cattail, white cattail

Active growth period Spring
Bloom Period June
Fruit seed period Begins July
Fruit seed period Ends September
Vegetation Spread Rate Rapid

Description

Hybrid cattail is an erect, rhizomatous perennial aquatic herb that can range in height from 3 to 10 feet. Leaves of the plant are long, linear, parallel-veined, moderately planoconvex, 1/8 to 3/4 of an inch wide, and deep green in color. Leaves originate from the base of the simple, slender stem and spread outward as they rise into the air. The flower head of the plant is a terminal compact spike that is shaped like an elongate cylinder. The flower spike is divided into pistillate flowers that form the conspicuous brown club located below the yellow spire of staminate flowers. Seeds of the plant are very small.

Hybrid cattail is a hybrid between Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail) and Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail). The plant apparently has intermediate characteristics between the parent plants in all features.

Distribution and Habitat for Hybrid CattailsHybrid cattail is a mostly sterile perennial aquatic herb. The plant primarily reproduces vegetatively by rhizomes and clone fragmentation. Generally, leaf production of the plant occurs in the spring, flowering occurs in early to mid-summer, and clonal growth peaks in the fall. Seedlings germinate from April to September when environmental conditions are favorable. Hybrid cattail flowers in June and produces fruits from late July to September. However, the plant develops extensive pure stands through vegetative or rhizomatous growth.

Distribution and Habitat

Hybrid cattail is native to Europe, but has also been considered a distinct species in North America. The plant has a similar distribution to narrow-leaved cattail. Hybrid cattail is distributed throughout southeastern Canada and the eastern United States. However, the plant is locally abundant in the north central Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions as well. Hybrid cattail can occur in wet or saturated soils and can tolerate some degree of saline or alkaline environments. Marshes, wet meadows, lakeshores, pond margins, bogs, roadside ditches, and seacoast estuaries are areas where the plant typically thrives. Hybrid cattail primarily occurs in early to mid-successional communities and disturbed wetland sites. In general, habitat characteristics of hybrid cattail are intermediate when compared to narrow-leaved cattail and broad-leaved cattail.


Narrow Leaf CattailCommon Name: Narrow leaf cattail

Active growth period Spring
Bloom Period Late Spring
Fruit seed period BeginsSpring
Fruit seed period Ends Summer
Vegetation Spread Rate Rapid

Description

Narrow leaf cattails reproduce by seed and vegetatively by rhizomes.

Seeds: Each spike may contain 117,000 to 268,000 tiny seeds. At maturity, the spike bursts under dry conditions, releasing the fruits. Each fruit has bristly hairs that aid in wind dispersal. When the fruit comes in contact with water, the pericarp opens rapidly, releasing the seed, which then sinks. In wet weather the fruits often fall to the ground in dense mats.

Seeds capable of germination immediately upon shedding under favorable conditions, but require moist or wet substrates, warm temperatures, low oxygen concentrations, and long day/short night exposures for germination to occur. Highest germination rates (86%-89%) at 77º-86º F. Because of the relatively high temperature required for germination, seeds overwinter in northern latitudes, but not necessarily in southern latitudes. Light, temperature, and oxygen requirements foDistribution and Habitat for NarrowleafCattailsr germination are best met in shallow water or on moist mudflats in vegetation-free areas.

Vegetative : Occurs through an extensive rhizome system and is responsible for the maintenance and expansion of existing stands.

Seeds are wind pollinated and require moisture, but not oxygen for germination. Laboratory studies have shown that seeds germinate best in water 1 inch deep, but can germinate in water as deep as 16". In the field seed germination usually occurs following exposure of mudflats. Narrow-leaved cattail was found in wetland seedbanks that had been drained for more than 70 years.

Distribution and Habitat

Cattails are always found in or near water, in marshes, ponds, lakes, and depressional areas. They are obligate wetland indicator plant species. Cattails tolerate perennial flooding, reduced soil conditions, and moderate salinity. With influxes of nutrients or freshwater, cattails are aggressive invaders in both brackish salt marshes and freshwater wetlands. Narrow-leaved cattails are found in marshes at elevations <2000 m. They grow throughout North America and Eurasia.


Southern CattailCommon Name: Southern cattail

Active growth period Spring
Bloom Period June to July
Fruit seed period Begins Late Spring and Summer
Fruit seed period Ends Fall
Vegetation Spread Rate Rapid

Description

Cattails are herbaceous, rhizomatous perennial plants with long, slender green stalks Distribution and Habitat for Southern Cattailstopped with brown, fluffy, sausage-shaped flowering heads. 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.

Distribution and Habitat

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.


Common Name: Broad leaf cattail

Active growth period Spring and Summer
Bloom Period Late Spring
Fruit seed period Begins Summer
Fruit seed period Ends Fall
Vegetation Spread Rate Rapid

Description

Broadleaf cattail is an erect, rhizomatous, semi aquatic or aquatic, perennial herb. The stout rhizomes, which are located 3 to 4 inches below the soil surface, grow up to 27 inches in length and are typically 0.2 to 1.2 inches in diameter. Distribution and Habitat for Broad Leaf Cattails

Broadleaf cattail reproduces sexually and asexually. Vegetative reproduction occurs through an extensive rhizome system and is responsible for the maintenance and expansion of existing stands. Sexual reproduction via seed dispersal and seedling establishment is responsible for invasion of new areas.

Broadleaf cattail seeds are capable of germinating immediately after shedding under favorable conditions, but require moist or wet substrates, warm temperatures, low oxygen concentrations, and long day-short night exposures for germination to occur. Light, temperature, and oxygen requirements for germination are best met in shallow water or on moist mudflats in vegetation-free areas.

Distribution and Habitat

Broad-leaved cattails are common throughout the United States and temperate and tropical places worldwide . Broad Lead Cattail occurs in coastal and valley marshes at elevations lower than 2,000 m



Common Name: Dwarf cattail