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Broadleaf Cattail (Typha latifolia)
Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Broadleaf Cattail (Typha latifolia)

General: Broadleaf Cattail (Typha latifolia) is an erect, emergent aquatic species with long, narrow leaves that usually grow 5 to 7 feet above the water surface. Flowers are born densely on a spike, the "cat tail." Cattails are the tall plants with long narrow leaves often seen on the edges of ponds.

There are three species of cattail in North America, all of which hybridize. This species can be recognized by height (about 10 ft tall), a wide blade (to 1 inch wide; wide compared to the others), no naked axis between the staminate and pistillate flowers, and the blade lacks glands on inside of the leaf near the base. The distributions of the species overlap and hybrids are common where species occur together, making certain identification sometimes difficult.

Broadleaf Cattail (Typha latifolia)

Broadleaf Cattail can be found around ponds, spring pools, seeps, and streams, but this species is less common that the other around Las Vegas.

Broadleaf Cattail (Typha latifolia)

Family: Cattail (Typhaceae)

Other Names:

Plant Form: Perennial emergent plant with a single, stiff stem; many linear leaves; and a cylindrical flowerhead.

Height: Stem and leaves usually to 9 feet.

Broadleaf Cattail (Typha latifolia)

Stems: Upright stems grow from long rhizomes in the mud. Stem erect and stiff.

Leaves: Blades long (to 9 feet) and linear (about 1-inch wide). Blades attached near the base of the stem. Blade lacks glands on the inside of the leaf near the base.

Flowers: Blooms June to July. Inflorescence on a stalk, about as high as the leaf tips. Staminate and pistillate flowers grow adjacent on the same stalk (staminate above pistillate).

Seeds: Small seed with long hairs attached; blow in the wind.

Broadleaf Cattail (Typha latifolia)

Habitat: Ponds, streams, river banks, and other wet areas. Sometimes grows out of the water on the edge of water body.

Elevation: To about 6,500 ft.

Distribution: North and Central America, Eurasia, and Africa.

Comments: All three North America species hybridize.

All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 081227

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