Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Typha angustifolia

Higher Taxonomy
Family: TyphaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 2 genera, +- 32 species: worldwide.
eFlora Treatment Author: S. Galen Smith
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: TyphaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 15 species: boreal to tropics worldwide. Etymology: (Greek: to smoke or emit smoke) Note: 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.

Typha angustifolia L.
Habit: Plant 15--30 dm. Stem: 2--3 mm diam at inflorescence. Leaf: sheath-tip lobes ear-like, membranous, disintegrating with age; widest fresh blades 4--15 mm wide, dry 3--8 mm wide, glands 0. Inflorescence: naked stem between staminate, pistillate flowers 1--12 cm; staminate scales hair- to strap-like, brown; pistillate spike dark brown; compound pedicels short, +- blunt, peg-like in fruit, +- 0.5 mm; pistillate bractlets blunt, length = pistillate flower hairs, width >= stigma width, dark brown, generally darker than stigma. Flower: pollen grains single; stigma linear, +- white in flower, light brown in age; sterile ovary green, drying brown, visible at spike surface, reaching pistil hair tips; pistil hair tips swollen, uniformly brown. Chromosomes: 2n=30.
Ecology: Nutrient-rich freshwater to brackish marshes, wet disturbed places; Elevation: < 2000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, SN, GV, CCo, SnFrB, SCo; Distribution Outside California: to southern British Columbia, central and eastern temperate North America, Eurasia. Flowering Time: May--Aug Note: Possibly naturalized in California.
Unabridged Note: If recognized taxonomically, hybrids with Typha latifolia assignable to Typha × glauca Godr. There is strong evidence that Typha angustifolia was introduced from Europe to the Atlantic Coast in colonial times; it has been known from California since at least 1909; it and Typha × glauca are serious invasive weeds in eastern North America.
eFlora Treatment Author: S. Galen Smith
Jepson Online Interchange

Previous taxon: Typha
Next taxon: Typha domingensis

Name Search
botanical illustration including Typha angustifolia


Citation for this treatment: S. Galen Smith 2016. Typha angustifolia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 30, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 30, 2016.

Typha angustifolia
click for enlargement
© 2008 Neal Kramer
Typha angustifolia
click for enlargement
© 2015 Neal Kramer
Typha angustifolia
click for enlargement
© 2007 Neal Kramer
Typha angustifolia
click for enlargement
© 2015 Neal Kramer
Typha angustifolia
click for enlargement
© 2015 Neal Kramer
Typha angustifolia
click for enlargement
© 2015 Neal Kramer

More photos of Typha angustifolia in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Typha angustifolia:
NW, SN, GV, CCo, SnFrB, SCo;
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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