E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Typha angustifolia L.
lesser cattail (narrowleaf cattail; narrow-leaved cattail)
Typhaceae (Cat-tail family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Brian Klinkenberg  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #21837)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Typha angustifolia
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from tough, extensive rhizomes; stems erect, simple, hard, pithy, 100-200 cm tall.
Sheaths lobed at the top, the lobes ear-like, membranous, veined; blades convex on the outer surface, 5-10 (12) mm wide.
Inflorescence a densely crowded, terminal, cylindrical spike; female and male portions of the spikes separated by 0.5-8 cm; the female portion below, brown, 15-20 cm wide, the male portion above, slightly wider than the female; female flowers subtended by a linear bract, the bract swollen at the top; stigmas linear; pollen grains single.
Follicles, dry, dehiscent, ellipsoid, long-hairy, about 1 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: White
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet ponds, lakeshores, riverbanks and marshes in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC (Vancouver area); introduced from E North America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Typha angustifolia var. calumetensis Peattie
Typha angustifolia var. elongata (Dudley) Wiegand

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References