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Types of Cattail 

Common Name: Hybrid cattail, white cattail

Active growth period                    

Bloom Period                                    June

Fruit seed period Begins                 July

Fruit seed period Ends                    September

Vegetation Spread Rate                 Rapid  


Hybrid cattail is an erect, rhizomatous perennial aquatic herb that can range in height from 3 to 10 feet. Leaves of the plant are long, linear, parallel-veined, moderately planoconvex, 1/8 to 3/4 of an inch wide, and deep green in color. Leaves originate from the base of the simple, slender stem and spread outward as they rise into the air. The flower head of the plant is a terminal compact spike that is shaped like an elongate cylinder. The flower spike is divided into pistillate flowers that form the conspicuous brown club located below the yellow spire of staminate flowers. Seeds of the plant are very small.

Hybrid cattail is a hybrid between Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail) and Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail). The plant apparently has intermediate characteristics between the parent plants in all features.

Distribution and Habitat

Hybrid cattail is native to Europe, but has also been considered a distinct species in North America. The plant has a similar distribution to narrow-leaved cattail. Hybrid cattail is distributed throughout southeastern Canada and the eastern United States. However, the plant is locally abundant in the north central Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions as well. Hybrid cattail can occur in wet or saturated soils and can tolerate some degree of saline or alkaline environments. Marshes, wet meadows, lakeshores, pond margins, bogs, roadside ditches, and seacoast estuaries are areas where the plant typically thrives. Hybrid cattail primarily occurs in early to mid-successional communities and disturbed wetland sites. In general, habitat characteristics of hybrid cattail are intermediate when compared to narrow-leaved cattail and broad-leaved cattail.

Life History/Ecology

Hybrid cattail is a mostly sterile perennial aquatic herb. The plant primarily reproduces vegetatively by rhizomes and clone fragmentation. Generally, leaf production of the plant occurs in the spring, flowering occurs in early to mid-summer, and clonal growth peaks in the fall. Seedlings germinate from April to September when environmental conditions are favorable. Hybrid cattail flowers in June and produces fruits from late July to September. However, the plant develops extensive pure stands through vegetative or rhizomatous growth.

Effects of Invasion

Hybrid cattail is competitively superior to both parent plants, narrow-leaved cattail and broad-leaved cattail, under stable water conditions. Maintaining open areas in semi-permanent marshes is difficult once the plant is established. The plant can occur in a variety of natural communities and form extensive monocultures rapidly through vegetative reproduction, thereby reducing plant bio-diversity. Hybrid cattail can become a problem in irrigated agricultural lands and managed aquatic systems. The plant invades farm ponds, irrigation canals, and drainage ditches which can result in impeded water flow and increased siltation.

Common Name: Narrow leaf cattail

Common Name: Southern cattail 

 Common Name: Broad leaf cattail

 Common Name: Dwarf cattail

 Common Name

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