Typha latifolia

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Typha latifolia
Grote lisdoddes aan het water.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Typhaceae
Genus: Typha
T. latifolia
Binomial name
Typha latifolia
Synonyms list
  • Massula latifolia (L.) Dulac
  • Typha ambigua Schur ex Rohrb.
  • Typha angustifolia var. inaequalis Kronf.
  • Typha angustifolia var. media Kronf.
  • Typha angustifolia var. sonderi Kronf.
  • Typha crassa Raf.
  • Typha elatior Raf. (Illegitimate)
  • Typha elatior Boreau (Illegitimate)
  • Typha elongata Dudley
  • Typha engelmannii A.Br. ex Rohrb.
  • Typha intermedia Schur
  • Typha latifolia var. ambigua Sond.
  • Typha latifolia var. angustifolia Hausskn.
  • Typha latifolia var. bethulona (Costa) Kronf.
  • Typha latifolia subsp. capensis Rohrb.
  • Typha latifolia f. divisa Louis-Marie
  • Typha latifolia var. elata Kronf.
  • Typha latifolia var. elatior Graebn.
  • Typha latifolia var. elongata Dudley
  • Typha latifolia subsp. eulatifolia Graebn.
  • Typha latifolia var. gracilis Godr.
  • Typha latifolia fo. remota Skvortsov
  • Typha latifolia subsp. maresii (Batt.) Batt.
  • Typha latifolia var. obconica Tkachik
  • Typha latifolia var. orientalis (C.Presl) Rohrb.
  • Typha latifolia var. remotiuscula (Schur) Simonk.
  • Typha latifolia subsp. shuttleworthii (W.D.J.Koch & Sond.) Stoj. & Stef.
  • Typha latifolia var. transsilvanica (Schur) Nyman
  • Typha latifolia var. typica Rothm.
  • Typha major Curtis
  • Typha media Pollini (Illegitimate)
  • Typha palustris Bubani
  • Typha pendula Fisch. ex Sond.
  • Typha remotiuscula Schur
  • Typha spathulifolia Kronf.

Typha latifolia, better known as broadleaf cattail,[4] is a perennial herbaceous plant in the genus Typha. It is found as a native plant species in North and South America, Eurasia, and Africa.


Typha latifolia has many other names: broadleaf cattail, Bulrush, common bulrush, common cattail, cat-o'-nine-tails, great reedmace, cooper's reed, cumbungi.


Typha latifolia grows 1.5 to 3 metres (5 to 10 feet) high and it has leaves 2–4 centimetres (341+12 inches) broad. It will generally grow from 0.75 to 1 m (2 to 3 ft) of water depth.[citation needed]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It is found as a native plant species in North and South America, Eurasia, and Africa.[5] In Canada, broadleaf cattail occurs in all provinces and also in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and in the United States, it is native to all states except Hawaii.[6][7] It is an introduced and invasive species, and is considered a noxious weed in Australia and Hawaii.[8] It has been reported in Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. It is referred to as Soli-soli in the Philippines.[5]

The species has been found in a variety of climates, including tropical, subtropical, southern and northern temperate, humid coastal, and dry continental.[7] It is found at elevations from sea level to 2,300 m (7,500 ft.[citation needed]

T. latifolia is an "obligate wetland" species, meaning that it is always found in or near water.[9] The species generally grows in flooded areas where the water depth does not exceed 0.8 m (2+12 ft),[10] but has also been reported growing in floating mats in slightly deeper water.[7] It grows mostly in fresh water but also occurs in slightly brackish marshes.[9] The species can displace other species native to salt marshes upon reduction in salinity. Under such conditions the plant may be considered aggressive since it interferes with preservation of the salt marsh habitat.[9][11]

T. latifolia shares its range with other related species, and hybridizes with Typha angustifolia, narrow-leaf cattail, to form Typha × glauca (T. angustifolia × T. latifolia), white cattail.[7] Common cattail is usually found in shallower water than narrow-leaf cattail.[citation needed]


Traditionally, the plant has been a part of certain indigenous cultures of British Columbia, as a source of food, medicine, and for other uses. The rhizomes are edible after cooking and removing the skin, while peeled stems and leaf bases can be eaten raw or cooked. The young flower spikes, young shoots, and sprouts at the end of the rootstocks are edible as well.[12][13][14] The pollen from the mature cones can be used as a flavoring.[15] The starchy rootstalks are ground into meal by Native Americans.[13]

It is not advisable to eat specimens deriving from polluted water as it absorbs pollutants and in fact is used as a bioremediator. Specimens with a very bitter or spicy taste should not be eaten.[16]


  1. ^ Lansdown, R.V. (2017). "Typha latifolia". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T164165A84300723. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T164165A84300723.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ Tropicos, Typha latifolia
  3. ^ The Plant List, Typha latifolia
  4. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Typha latifolia". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Typha latifolia (aquatic plant)", Global Invasive Species Database. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
  6. ^ Flora of North America vol 22 p 282.
  7. ^ a b c d "Typha latifolia, U.S. Forest Service Fire Effects Information Database", U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved 2011-02-20
  8. ^ "Typha latifolia (Typhaceae) Species description or overview", Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR). Retrieved 2011-02-21.
  9. ^ a b c "USDA Plant Guide: Typha latifolia", United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  10. ^ "Broadleaf Cattail", Utah State University Cooperative Extension. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  11. ^ "Can Native Plants be Invasive?".
  12. ^ Turner, Nancy J. Food Plants of Interior First Peoples (Victoria: UBC Press, 1997) ISBN 0-7748-0606-0
  13. ^ a b Niering, William A.; Olmstead, Nancy C. (1985) [1979]. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Knopf. p. 810. ISBN 0-394-50432-1.
  14. ^ Elias, Thomas S.; Dykeman, Peter A. (2009) [1982]. Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods. New York: Sterling. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-4027-6715-9. OCLC 244766414.
  15. ^ Benoliel, Doug (2011). Northwest Foraging: The Classic Guide to Edible Plants of the Pacific Northwest (Rev. and updated ed.). Seattle, WA: Skipstone. p. 61. ISBN 978-1-59485-366-1. OCLC 668195076.
  16. ^ YouTube - Wild Living with Sunny: episode 4 Video describing collection and cooking of common cattail.

External links[edit]