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Cattails (Typha augustifolia) discovered by Marcel Roy (#624)
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Observed: August 5, 2011 @ 11:00 AM
Posted on: August 5, 2011 @ 8:33 PM (diff: 0 days)
Cattails (Typha augustifolia) - Cattails, perennial plants of the Typha genus, abound in marshy areas and alongside rivers and streams. Cattails have a stem that can reach as high as 10 feet, although the typical plant is about five feet high. The stem are pithy, meaning they have a central core of spongy tissue or pith that stores nutrients. The tips of the stems carry the flowerhead. The light green, sword-shaped leaves have an erect growing habit and are slightly rounded on the back. The cattail's leaves are generally about five feet high, although they can occasionally reach as high as 10 feet. Approximately one inch in width, the texture of the leaf is coarse. The leaf blade twists slightly from bottom to top.
The flowers come in a cigar-shaped spike at the tip of the stem. The spike is typically about six inches long and one inch wide. Both male and female flowers occur in single flowerhead. The male flowers, yellow early in the growing season, drop off in the fall and leave behind a grey stem section. Female flowers are firm and green or brown.
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