Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Typha latifolia
Common cattail
Taxonomy

Synonyms:

Subspecific taxa:

Classification:

Other taxonomic & nomenclature sources: USDA PlantsITISThe Plant ListIPNI

Images

   
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Species Distribution
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County Map Legend
Absent:
Not known from county
Medium confidence:
Medium or unknown confidence;
often old records or unverifiable observations
Medium-high confidence:
Often observations by expert botanists
High confidence:
Often vouchered herbarium records
Planted / introduced:
Native species introduced outside historic range,
or only in planted locations within county (e.g., restorations)
Historic / extirpated:
Only historic records for the species; likely extirpated
(Note that this category is not yet functional)

North American distribution maps for this species: FLNAUSDA PlantsBONAPBISON

Collection & Observation Phenology [?]

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J
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Collection & Observation Timeline [?]

Species Status

Status/Listing: No Information

Notes:

Origin: Native

Species Description

General: Monocot, perennial

Roots:

Shoots: simple leaf type; entire leaf margin; Parallel leaf venation; awl-shaped, oblong leaf shape

Inflorescence: spike

Flowers: unisexual, monoecious; incomplete, not petals, not sepals; hypogynous ovary position

Fruit: achene

Physiology: autotrophic; C3 C02 fixation

Ecology & Natural History

Habitat: Muddy or sandy spots with water up to 1 1/2 feet deep.

ILPIN Notes: Marsh birds and shore birds- cover and food- seeds. Good food for aquatic furbearers (esp. muskrats). Leaves used for rush chair seats; Native Americans used leaves for floor mats. Attempted substitutes for: cotton, wool, jute, paper stock, ethyl alcholol, life jackets, sound roofing, linaleic acids (seeds). Root stocks eaten raw or cooked; root stocks provide flour and jelly. Young stem as a spring vegetable; staminate flowers as starchy additive; pollen as cake-stuff (25 spikes to make 1 cake). Dense, elongate, fertile spikes, the pistillate and staminate sectors usually contiguous. 1, 11 Form- roots planted in spring at 11000 roots/acre.

Functional Relationships:

Human Relationships:

  • Edibility [?] : yes
  • Showy Flowers:

Wildlife and Livestock Information:

  • Food Value: waterfowl: good; aquatic species: good
  • Cover Value: waterfowl: good

Coefficient of Conservatism (C-value) [?] :

  • Entire State: 1
  • Chicago Area: 1

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