Typha angustifolia L.
Coefficient of Conservatism: *
Coefficient of Wetness: -5
Wetness Index: OBL
Physiognomy: Ad P-Forb

Typha angustifolia B. S. Walters

Cat-tails occur in all kinds of wet or intermittently wet habitats, often in 3–6 dm or more of water. This species is clearly introduced into Michigan; the first Michigan record was 1877 from near a cemetery in Wayne Co.

For a long time it was uncertain whether this species might be European in origin, or perhaps from the East Coast of North America. Genetic evidence (Ciotir et al. 2013) now points strongly towards early introduction from Europe into North America.

There is often a tendency for the deep green leaves to retain much of their color for a while after being dried. Although generally with the spikes and leaves narrower than in T. latifolia, this species cannot safely be distinguished on size alone.

Typha ×glauca Godr. is the common hybrid of this species and T. latifolia. The hybrid is vigorous and invasive and it can be the dominant plant in some marshes, such as along Lake Erie. Plants often grow to a greater height than either parent, and the spikes may be unusually long (up to 40 cm in the pistillate portion of one collection); the foliage is blue-green. See Gertz et al. (1994) for more information. It is now widespread, though recorded only from Schoolcraft Co. in the Upper Peninsula, and was apparently first collected in 1935 in Washtenaw Co. Cattails are awkward and time consuming to collect, and this hybrid between our two species doubtless is more common than collections indicate.


Alcona County
Alger County
Allegan County
Alpena County
Baraga County
Barry County
Bay County
Benzie County
Berrien County
Branch County
Calhoun County
Charlevoix County
    Including Beaver Island
Cheboygan County
Clinton County
Crawford County
Eaton County
Emmet County
Genesee County
Gogebic County
Grand Traverse County
Hillsdale County
Huron County
Isabella County
Kalamazoo County
Kent County
Lake County
Leelanau County
    Including Manitou Islands
Lenawee County
Livingston County
Macomb County
Marquette County
Mason County
Mecosta County
Midland County
Monroe County
Muskegon County
Newaygo County
Oakland County
Ogemaw County
Ontonagon County
Ottawa County
Presque Isle County
Roscommon County
Saginaw County
Schoolcraft County
St. Clair County
St. Joseph County
Tuscola County
Van Buren County
Washtenaw County
Wayne County


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. November 29, 2022. https://michiganflora.net/species.aspx?id=2745.