Cattail Facts

Cattail is a slender perennial aquatic emergent plant, growing to 1.5–2 m tall. It has dense fibrous root and has branched creeping rhizomes, 2–4 cm in diameter. It is normally found growing in shallow, flooded conditions and easily get established along a pond shoreline or in waters one to 1.5 feet or less in depth. They are one of the most common plants in large marshes and on the edge of ponds. Two species are most common in US: broad leaved cattail (T. latifolia) and narrow leaf cattail (T. angustifolia).

Name Cattail
Scientific Name Typha latifolia
Native Throughout the temperate northern hemisphere
Common/English Name Cattail, Lesser Bulrush, Lesser Reed-Mace, Nail- Rod, Narrow-Leaf Cattail, Narrowleaf Cattail, Reed-Mace, Small Reed-Mace, Small Bulrush.
Name in Other Languages Nepalese : Khar
Uruguay : Totora
Arabic : Bardî
Estonian : Ahtalehine Hundinui
Australia : Cumbungi
Colombia : Enea
Finnish : Kapeaosmankäämi
Dominican Republic : Enea
Slovascina : Rogoz Ozkolistni
Argentina : Totora
Dutch : Kleine Lisdodde
Spanish : Anea
Brazil : Taboa
Turkish : Su Kam1sh
Fiji : Deniruve
Polish : Pałka Wąskolistna
French : Chandelle
Thailand : Kok Chaang
German : Schmalblättriger Rohrkolben
Swedish : Smalkaveldum
Danish : Smalbladet Dunhammer
India : Hogla
Czech : Orobincem Uzkolistym
Vietnam : Bồn Bồn
Indonesia : Purun
Welsh : Cynffon Y Gath Culddail
Belgium : Kleine Lisdodde
Italian : Lisca A Foglie Strette
Venezeula : Enea
Malaysia : Banat
Philippines : Homay-homay
Chinese : Pu Huang
Portuguese : Tabua-Estreita
Esperanto : Tifao Malgranda
Russian : Rogoz Uzkolistnyj
Gaelic : Coigeal Chaol
Norwegian : Smal Dunkjevle
Japanese : Hime Gama
Plant Growth Habit Slender perennial aquatic emergent plant
Growing Climate Grows in shallow fresh water of lakes, rivers, ponds, marshes and ditches in valley marshes, coastal sites at low elevation.
Plant Size 1.5–2 m tall
Root Dense fibrous root
Rhizome Branched creeping rhizomes, 2–4 cm in diameter, commonly 70 cm or even longer.
Stem Unbranched and cylindrical, 100–200 cm
Leaf 60–100 cm long, linear, narrow leaves, 5–10 mm wide and deep green.
Flower Cylindric inflorescence has staminate flowers above and pistillate flowers below with a naked axis between the staminate and pistillate flowers
Flowering Season May to July
Fruit Shape and Size Dry, dehiscent, ellipsoid follicle with long hairs containing large numbers of seeds
Fruit Color Green during early summer and turns brown and fuzzy in the fall and following spring.
Seed Small pendulous seeds, with a straight, narrow embryo 0.2 millimetres (0.008 in) long, and attached to fine hairs
Varieties/Types
  • Typha latifolia
  • Typha angustifolia
Major Nutrition Manganese, Mn 0.144 mg (6.26%)
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 4.3 µg (3.58%)
Magnesium, Mg 12 mg (2.86%)
Total dietary Fiber 0.9 g (2.37%)
Iron, Fe 0.17 mg (2.13%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.023 mg (1.77%)
Sodium, Na 21 mg (1.40%)
Phosphorus, P 9 mg (1.29%)
Potassium, K 59 mg (1.26%)
Calcium, Ca 10 mg (1.00%)
Health Benefits
  • Improves digestion
  • Calorie rich
  • Skin Health
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardio tonic and lipid-lowering effects
  • Antiseptic Application
  • Steady increase in energy
  • Slow Bleeding
Calories in 1 shoot (19.0 g) 5 K cal