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Vascular Plants of California
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Typha domingensis

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.
Reference: Smith 2000 FNANM 22:278--285
Typha domingensis Pers.
Habit: 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. Chromosomes: 2n=30.
Ecology: Nutrient-rich freshwater to brackish marshes, wet disturbed places; Elevation: < 1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, NCoRO, GV, CW, SW, GB, D; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, eastern North America, worldwide warm temperate, tropics. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul Note: Very variable worldwide; needs study.
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.
Jepson eFlora Author: S. Galen Smith
Reference: Smith 2000 FNANM 22:278--285
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Typha angustifolia
Next taxon: Typha latifolia

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Botanical illustration including Typha domingensis

botanical illustration including Typha domingensis


Citation for this treatment: S. Galen Smith 2012, Typha domingensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 05, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 05, 2021.

Typha domingensis
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Typha domingensis
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© 2019 Keir Morse
Typha domingensis
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer
Typha domingensis
click for enlargement
© 2019 Keir Morse
Typha domingensis
click for enlargement
© 2019 Keir Morse
Typha domingensis
click for enlargement
© 2019 Keir Morse

More photos of Typha domingensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Typha domingensis:
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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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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).