Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Narrow-leaved Cattail - Typha angustifolia

Likely Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SU

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 3

External Links

General Description
Stems 80–150 cm. Leaves 3 to 12 mm wide. Inflorescence: male spike 8–12 cm × 8–10 mm; separated from the female spike 7–15 cm × 6–9 mm. Flowers: stigma linear, brown; pollen grains shed separately (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Typha angustifolia may be difficult to separate from the tall cattail (Typha domingensis), which is usually taller and has flattened and more numerous leaves (Apfelbaum 1985). Hybrids of intermediate appearance have been reported, and are often referred to as the species Typha x glauca.

Typha angustifolia can be distinguished from broad-leaved cattail by the relative width of the leaf and the position of the staminate and pistillate portions of the spadix (heads). Typha latifolia has 6-23 mm wide leaves that are flat, sheathing, and pale grayish-green in color. In contrast, T. angustifolia has 3-8 mm wide leaves that are full green and somewhat convex on back (Agricultural Rea. Service 1971). In T. latifolia the staminate and pistillate heads are contiguous or nearly so, whereas in T. angustifolia the heads are separated by approximately 3 cm.

Species Range

Range Comments
Typha angustifolia is widely distributed in the eastern and northern United States.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 28

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Shallow water of marshes, ponds, lakes, often where saline; plains, valleys (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Narrow-leaved Cattail — Typha angustifolia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from