Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Southern Cattail - Typha domingensis   Persoon
Members of Typhaceae:
Members of Typha with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Typhales » Family Typhaceae
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DistributionPresent along much of the coast and tidewater sections.

This is a fairly widespread species, but in the East is limited mainly to the Atlantic coast north to DE, all of FL, and the Gulf Coast.
AbundanceInfrequent, though can be numerous where present, in the coastal region.
HabitatThis species grows in mostly tidal waters, where slightly brackish (oligohaline) to fresh. It is mostly a marsh species (including interdune marshes and ponds), though it can grow in swamps and around the margins of ponds and impoundments, as long as they are somewhat saline.
PhenologyFlowers from June to July, and fruits from July to November.
IdentificationThis is the tallest of the three Typha species in the state. The stem often grows to 6-9 feet tall, and the numerous leaves coming off the base of the stem -- usually more than 10 in number -- reach about the same height as the stem, rarely much taller. These leaves are about 2/5-inch wide and a somewhat yellow-green to medium green in color, wider than the dark green leaves in T. angustifolia. Both of these two species have the staminate spike on the stem separated from the pistillate spike by an inch or more, whereas the more common T. latifolia has wider yellow-green leaves and the staminate spike is located in contact with the pistillate spike below it. This species also has an orange-brown or rusty-brown pistillate spike, a bit wider than the dark brown pistillate spike in T. angustifolia. For whatever reason, this species seems to be practically unknown to the public, and many botanists are likely to overlook it as well. However, a marsh plant with stem and leaves far above one's head should surely catch attention!
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS3
Global RankG4G5
State Status
US Status
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