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TYPHACEAE CATTAIL FAMILY

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

TYPHA CATTAIL
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. latifolia L. BROAD-LEAVED CATTAIL
NATIVE
Plant 15–30 dm. Stem: 3–7 mm diam near inflorescence. Leaf: sheath tip lobes ear-like, papery, or 0; widest fresh blades 10–29 mm wide, dry 5–20 mm wide, glands 0. Inflorescence: naked stem between staminate, pistillate flowers generally 0(8) cm; staminate scales hair- to strap-like, colorless; pistillate spikes medium- to black- or red-brown, generally white-mottled in age; compound pedicels elongate, bristle-like in fruit, 1.5–3.5 mm; pistillate bractlets 0. Flower: pollen grains in 4s; stigma ovate to lance-ovate, green in flower, medium- to red- or black-brown in age; sterile ovary straw-colored, not visible at spike surface, < pistil hair tips.
2n=30. Unpolluted to nutrient-rich freshwater (brackish) marshes; < 2300 m. California; boreal North America to northern South America, Eurasia, northern Africa, Tasmania (introduced). Jun–Jul [Online Interchange]

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Next taxon: Zannichelliaceae

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 17 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Typha, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=47466, accessed on Apr 17 2014

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click for enlargement Typha latifolia
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© 2008 Luigi Rignanese

Bioregions in which Typha latifolia occurs 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.
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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.