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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Brian Klinkenberg     (Photo ID #21837)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Typha angustifolia
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Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat and Range

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

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Typha angustifolia var. calumetensis Peattie
Typha angustifolia var. elongata (Dudley) Wiegand