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Southern cat-tail (Typha domingensis)

Southern cat-tail Synonyms: Typha angustata

Common Names: Tall cattail

Description: Plays an important roll as a source of food and shelter for marsh-dwelling animals.

Habit: Perennial wetland plant.

Leaves: Pale yellow-green in color, alternate, long, linear, flat and sheathing. 6-9 leaves per stem, up to 5/8 inch wide, flat on one side and convex on the other.

Stems: Pithy, simple, erect and 5-13 feet tall.

Flowers: Numerous tiny flowers densely packed into a cylindrical spike at the end of the stem that can grow up to 8 feet. Divided into an upper section of yellow, male flowers and lower cinnamon brown, sausage-shaped section of female flowers. Gap between male and female flowers is about 2.5-5 centimeters.

Fruit and seeds: Seeds are tiny (about 1 mm) and hairy. They are dispersed by wind.

Habitat: Native to the southern United States. Found in freshwater marshes, wet meadows, fens, roadsides, ditches, shallow ponds, stream and lake shores.

Reproduction: By seed and vegetatively by underground rhizomes.

Similar species: Broad leaved cattail (Typha latifolia), narrow-leaved (Typha angustifolia) and Hybrid cattail (Typha glauca).

Monitoring and rapid response: Cut all stems, both green and dead in mid to late summer or early fall. If possible, maintain a water level of a minimum of 3 inches above cut stems for entire growing season. Foliar spray with aquatic approved imazypr has been effective.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Southern cat-tail

Scientific Name:

Typha domingensis







USDA Symbol: