Herbs & Plants

Typha latifolia

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Botanical Name : Typha latifolia
Family: Typhaceae
Genus: Typha
Species: T. latifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Names :Bulrush, Common Bulrush, Broadleaf Cattail, Common Cattail, Great Reedmace, Cooper’s reed, Cumbungi

Typha latifoliaT. latifolia is called totora, espadaña común, tule espidilla, or piriope in Spanish; roseau des étangs in French; and tabua-larga in Portuguese.

Habitat :Typha latifolia is found as a native species in North and South America, Great Britain, Eurasia and Africa. In Canada, broadleaf cattail occurs in all provinces and the Northwest Territories, and in the United States, it is native to all states except Hawaii. The species is non-native, and considered an invasive weed, in Australia and Hawaii. It is not native but has been reported in Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.

T. latifolia has been found in a variety of climates, including tropical, subtropical, southern and northern temperate, humid coastal, and dry continental. It is found at elevations from sea level to 7,500 feet (2,300 m).

T. latifolia is an “obligate wetland” species, meaning that it is always found in or near water. The species generally grows in flooded areas where the water depth does not exceed 2.6 feet (0.8 meters). However, it has also been reported growing in floating mats in slightly deeper water. T. latifolia grows mostly in fresh water but also occurs in slightly brackish marshes. The species can displace other species native to salt marshes upon reduction in salinity. Under such conditions the plant may be considered invasive, since it interferes with preservation of the salt marsh habitat

T. latifolia shares its range with other related species, and hybridizes with Typha angustifolia, narrow-leaf cattail, to form Typha × glauca (Typha angustifolia × T. latifolia), white cattail. Common cattail is usually found in shallower water than narrow-leaf cattail.

You may click to see the pictures of   Typha latifolia 
The plant is 1.5 to 3 metres (5 to 10 feet) high and it has 2-4cm broad leaves, and will generally grow out in to 0.75 to 1 metre [2 to 3 feet] of water depth.

Edible Uses:
The rhizomes of Typha latifolia were eaten by many first peoples of North America, as well as the leaf bases and young flower spikes. The rhizomes can be consumed after cooking and removing the skin, while the peeled stems and leaf bases can be eaten raw or cooked.

While Typha latifolia grows all over, including in rural areas, it is not advisable to eat specimens deriving from polluted water as it is used as a bioremediator, it absorbs pollutants. Do not eat them if they taste very bitter or spicy.

The Hopi Kachinas give it to children with toys attached such as bows and dolls during the Home

Medicinal Uses:
Native Americans from most tribes living near wetland areas have found interesting medicinal uses for cattails. Some tribes used the fuzz as a remedy for burns or to create a powder that prevented chafing. Others crushed the rhizomes and used them as topical treatment for sores and inflammation. The Delaware used the root as a cure for kidney stones, and the Houma Indians steeped the flowering stem as a treatment for whooping cough.  The leaves are diuretic. The leaves have been mixed with oil and used as a poultice on sores.
The pollen is astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, haemostatic, refrigerant, sedative, suppurative and vulnerary. The dried pollen is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it becomes haemostatic. It is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones, hemorrhage, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tapeworms, diarrhea and injuries. A decoction of the stems has been used in the treatment of whooping cough. The roots are diuretic, galactogogue, refrigerant and tonic. The roots are pounded into a jelly-like consistency and applied as a poultice to wounds, cuts, boils, sores, carbuncles, inflammations, burns and scalds. The flowers are used in the treatment of a wide range of ailments including abdominal pain, amenorrhea, cystitis, dysuria, metrorrhagia and vaginitis. The young flower heads are eaten as a treatment for diarrhea.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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