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Home » Plant infomation

Typha latifolia  L.


Botanical Name


Typha latifolia L.

English Name


Reedmace, Bulrush, Broadleaf cattail, Broad-leaved cat-tail, Cattail, Cat's tail, Common cat-tail, Great reed-mace, Marsh pestle.



Typha elongata Pauquy, Typha gracilis Rafin., Typha major Curt., Typha media DC., nom. illeg.





General Info


A perennial herb grows up to 1.5 to 3 metres high. Leaf sheath tapered to blade or shouldered; blade 10–29 mm wide when fresh, (5)10–20 mm wide when dry. Inflorescence naked axis between staminate and pistillate flowers 0 (sometimes 4–8 cm); staminate bractlets simple, hair-like, whitish; pistillate stalk 1.5–3 mm, hair-like, spike 5–25 cm, 28–36 mm wide in fruit, green when fresh, brown in fruit; staminate flower-pollen grains in groups of 4; pistillate flower stigma widely lanceolate; sterile ovary rounded, << pedicel hairs, hair tips whitish. Fruit achene; wall thin, splitting in water.

Herb Effects

Diuretic (leaves); astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, haemostatic, refrigerant, sedative, suppurative and vulnerary (pollen); anticoagulant and haemostatic (dried pollen); diuretic, galactogogue, refrigerant and tonic (roots).


Plants For A Future
Jepson Manual treatment for Typha latifolia



Medicinal Use

The leaves have been mixed with oil and used as a poultice on sores. The pollen is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones, haemorrhage, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system and externally for tapeworms, diarrhea and injuries. A decoction of the stems has been used in the treatment of whooping cough. 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, amenorrhoea, cystitis, dysuria, metrorrhagia and vaginitis. The young flower heads are eaten as a treatment for diarrhoea. The seed down has been used as a dressing on burns and scalds.


Should not be prescribed for pregnant women.



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