Genus Typha
Cattail Family (Typhaceae)

Cattails - July 2000

(Typha latifolia)

The cattail is one of the most easily recognized of all our wild plants. It grows in marshes all over the world. Many parts of the plant are edible.

The male flowers (which produce pollen) grow at the top of the flower spike. The female flowers occur just below this, in a densely packed cylinder. The individual flowers are almost microscopic in size.

Photo by Kathy McCarthy -- Sept 2002

As the seeds mature the cylinder turns from green to brown, and breaks apart into fluffy down which carries the tiny seeds away in the wind.