|Typha subsp. var.||Bulrush, Cat-tail, Reed mace|
Typha is a genus of about eleven species of monocotyledonous flowering plants in the monogeneric family, Typhaceae. The genus has a largely Northern Hemisphere distribution, but is essentially cosmopolitan, being found in a variety of wetland habitats. These plants are known in British English as bulrush, bullrush or reedmace, in American English as cattail, punks, or corndog grass, and in New Zealand as raupo. Typha should not be confused with other plants known as bulrush, such as some sedges (mostly in Scirpus and related genera).
Typha leaves are alternate and mostly basal to a simple, jointless stem that eventually bears the flowering spikes. The rhizomes spread horizontally beneath the surface of muddy ground to start new upright growth, and the spread of Typha is an important part of the process of open water bodies being converted to vegetated marshland and eventually dry land.
Typha plants are monoecious and bear unisexual, wind-pollinated flowers, developing in dense spikes. The numerous male flowers form a narrow spike at the top of the vertical stem. Each male (staminate) flower is reduced to a pair of stamens and hairs, and withers once the pollen is shed. The very large numbers of tiny female flowers form a dense, sausage-shaped spike on the stem below the male spike – in larger species this can be up to 30 cm in long and 1 to 4 cm thick. Seeds are minute, 0.2 mm in long, and attached to a fine hair. When ripe the heads disintegrate into dense cottony fluff, from which the seeds disperse by wind. Typha is often among the first wetland plants to colonize areas of newly exposed wet mud; it also spreads by rhizomes, forming dense stands often to the exclusion of other plants.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Typha (ancient name). Typhaceae. Cat-tail. Reed Mace. Hardy perennial marsh- or swamp-growing herbs, useful in the water-garden or along brooks or the margins of ponds.
Plants forming colonies, slender or stout, often tall, smooth: rhizome strong, creeping: sts. erect, simple, base often under water: radical lvs. linear-elongated, rather thick, spongy, with or without ribs; cauline lvs. few and shorter: peduncles erect, terete, strict and not divided: spadices, male and female similar, superposed: fls. monoecious, densely clustered in the cylindrical spadix; perianth consisting of slender hairs: fr. minute, subsessile. — About 17 species, temperate and tropical regions. CH
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- Typha angustifolia - Lesser Bulrush or Narrow Leaf Cattail
- Typha capensis - Cape bulrush
- Typha domingensis - Southern Cattail
- Typha ×glauca (angustifolia × latifolia) - Hybrid or White Cattail
- Typha latifolia - Common Cattail
- Typha laxmannii - Laxman's Bulrush
- Typha minima - Dwarf Bulrush
- Typha muelleri - Raupo
- Typha orientalis - Raupo
- Typha shuttleworthii - Shuttleworth's Bulrush
The most widespread species is Typha latifolia, extending across the entire temperate Northern Hemisphere. T. angustifolia is nearly as widespread, but does not extend so far north. T. domingensis is a more southerly American species, extending from the U.S. to South America, while T. laxmannii, T. minima and T. shuttleworthii are largely restricted to Asia and parts of southern Europewp.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Typha. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
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