Cattail, Typha latifolia




     All over the United States and coastal British Columbia (3 and 5)


Climate, elevation

     Moist, mild climate; low to middle elevations (3)


Local occurrence (where, how common)

     Often grows in marshes, lake edges, swamps, wet meadows, forested wetlands, sloughs, and stream banks (1 and 3)

     Highly common


Habitat preferences

     Often found in shallow, standing water (3)

     Can tolerate a variety of soil types, from clays to sands (4)


Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

     Can tolerate inundation up to two feet and fluctuating water levels (2)

     Can often form monocultures, and sometimes push out desirable native sedges and rushes

     Tolerates salinities up to 8000 ppm

      Tolerates a wide range of water pH (4.7-10)


Associated species

     Carex obnupta , Cornus stolonifera, Equisetum arvense, Rubus spectabilis, Lysichitum americanum, Nuphar polysepalum (1 and 4)


May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

     Seed (1)

     Rhizomes (2)


Collection restrictions or guidelines

     Collect rhizome divisions in winter and spring (4)


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

     Cold stratification for 2 months (2)


Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

     Can sow seeds into flats, but plants remain small for 2 to 3 years (1)

     Rhizomes can be planted immediately on-site (plant rhizome pieces with 3 to 4 nodes into soil 4 to 6 inches deep)

     Rhizomes can also be potted and grown for later division (4)

Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

     Can tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions, from clay to sand (2)

     Soil should be saturated (4)


Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

     Divided rhizomes directly installed [best option] (2 and 4)

     Established rhizomes from pots [another good option] (4)

     Established seedlings (1)


Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)

     Soil should be kept consistently moist, rhizomes can not dry out; saturate area after planting (4)


Sources cited

1.      Guard, B. Jennifer. Wetland Plants of Oregon and Washington. Lone Pine Publishing. Vancouver, B.C. 1995.


2.      Leigh, Michael. Grow Your Own Native Landscape. Native Plant Salvage Project, WSU Cooperative Extension-Thurston County. Revised edition, June 1999.


3.      Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast-Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. B.C. Minisrty of Forest and Lone Pine Publishing. 1994.


4.      Stevens, M. and R. Vanbianchi. 1993. Restoring Wetlands in Washington: A Guidebook for Wetland Restoration, Planning and Implementation. Washington State Department of Ecology Publication 93-17, 110 p.


5.     USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.


Data compiled by:

Crystal Elliot, 6/3/03