Plant Image
Flower heads

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Typha latifolia - Broadleaf cattail

Plant Form: Forb

Family: Typhaceae

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Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial   Similar Species: Typha angustifolia, Typha domingensis
General Desc: Large clumps of erect stems emerge above water in aquatic environments. Also can be found in wet terrestrial areas. Spreads by rhizomes.
Identification notes: Perennial grass-like plants with strap-like leaves up to 2 inches wide. Typically forming colonies. Emersed in fresh water. Inflorescence is a dense elongated brown spike, male portion of the flower spike is on top of the female portion.
Height: 5 to 9 feet


Habitat Description: Marshy areas in shallow water ponds and edges of lakes and streams. Fresh to slightly brackish water or wet soil.
Plant Communities: Riparian
Elevation: 3500 - 8200 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow, brown     Shape: Other in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Sep
Description: Flower spikes are cylindrical, with hundreds of tiny flowers packed together; flowers lack petals and sepals; male flowers are light brown, release large yellow to orange pollen when touched; female portion of the flower spikse are dark brown.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Dark green, flat, erect, straplike, up to 9 feet long, 2 inches wide; alternate along the stems, with sheathing bases; 12-16 leaves per stem; sheaths cylindric and open to the base.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Tan brown   
Fruit Type: Feathery
Fruit Notes: A tiny dry fruit (follicle) borne on a slender stalk, the stalk having many long hairs that do not expand at the tip, each follicle single-seeded.
Seed Notes: Numerous straw-colored seeds.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
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