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S. Galen Smith

Perennial herb, glabrous; monoecious; rhizomes or stolons long; colonial, in wet soil to aquatic. Stem: aerial stem 1, ± cylindric. Leaf: basal and cauline, alternate, 2-ranked, spongy; sheath open; ligule 0; blade ± linear. Inflorescence: spike-like or of spheric, unisexual heads; staminate flowers or heads distal to pistillate ones. Flower: small, densely-packed. Staminate flower: filaments fused proximally. Pistillate flower: pistil 1, ovary superior, ovules 1–2(4). Fruit: follicle, splitting in water, or drupe-like.
2 genera, ± 32 species: worldwide. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Typhaceae

Stem: erect, simple, cylindric, firm, air cavities 0. Leaf: ascending; blade C-shaped or planoconvex in ×-section proximally, flat distally, internal air cavities large; sheath-tip lobes present or not. Inflorescence: terminal; flowers 1000+; staminate flowers distal, mixed with many papery scales; pistillate flowers proximal, clustered on peg-like compound pedicels; bractlets many, thread-like with enlarged tips generally visible at spike surface, or 0. Staminate flower: stamens 2–7 on slender stalk; filaments slender, generally deciduous in fruit. Pistillate flower: stalk long-hairy, persistent; ovary chambers 1, style 1, persistent, stigma 1; many modified pistils with enlarged sterile ovary, style deciduous. Fruit: fusiform, thin-walled, yellow-brown, wind-dispersed.
± 15 species: boreal to tropics worldwide. (Greek: to smoke or emit smoke) [Smith 2000 FNANM 22:278–285] Dissecting microscope ideal for Typha identification (flower structures small), which is complicated by hybridization.
Unabridged note: Typha angustifolia × Typha latifolia (Typha × glauca Godr., pro sp.) and Typha domingensis × Typha latifolia (Typha × provincialis A. Camus) are generally highly sterile and intermediate between parents in most characters. Typha angustifolia × Typha domingensis are generally highly fertile, thus species boundaries are locally obscure. Hybrids involving 3 species are locally common. Although putative hybrids may produce no or few seeds they generally form long-persistent clones.

Key to Typha

T. domingensis Pers. SOUTHERN CATTAIL
Plant 15–40 dm. Stem: 3–4 mm diam near inflorescence. Leaf: sheath-tip lobes ear-like, membranous or 0; widest fresh blades 6–18 mm wide, dry 5–15 mm wide, orange-brown gland-dotted adaxially on proximal 1–10 cm. Inflorescence: naked stem between staminate, pistillate flowers (0)1–8 cm; staminate scales generally strap-like, tips widened, generally irregularly dissected, yellow-brown; pistillate spike cinnamon to medium brown; compound pedicels short, ± blunt, peg-like in fruit, ± 0.7 mm; pistillate bractlets acute to acuminate, length > pistillate flower hairs, width >= stigma width, straw-colored to light brown, generally paler than stigma. Flower: pollen grains single; stigma linear, ± white in flower, medium- to yellow-brown in fruit; sterile ovary visible at spike surface, ± = pistil hair tips, straw-colored; pistil hair tips ± swollen, straw-colored with large orange-brown spot.
2n=30. Nutrient-rich freshwater to brackish marshes, wet disturbed places; < 1500 m. North Coast, Outer North Coast Ranges, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert; to Alaska, eastern North America, worldwide warm temperate, tropics. Very variable worldwide; needs study. Jun–Jul [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Plants in southern California are generally small, with lobed leaf-sheath tips. Occasional invasive weed in nutrient-rich places, e.g., in Florida Everglades, Costa Rica.

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Next taxon: Typha latifolia


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 1 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Typha, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 1 2015

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click for enlargement Typha domingensis
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1995 Saint Mary's College of California

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Typha domingensis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.