Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Typha domingensis

Pers., Synops. Pl. 2:532.1807

T. angustifoliaL.

Cattail

Large, monoecious, semiaquatic herb 1-3 m tall; rhizomes long, fleshy. Leaves equitant; blades sword-shaped, acute at apex, ensheathing stem at base, more than 1 m long, 3-10 mm wide. Inflorescences cylindrical, elongate, 1-2.5 cm diam, 50-120 cm long; flowers in dense spikes, the staminate flowers above the pistillate, separated by 3-10 cm of naked peduncle; perianth reduced to bristles; pistil­late flowers usually having filiform bractlets with dilated tips; ovary stipitate, l- or 2-celled. Mature inflorescences becoming fluffy with loosening comose nutlets; mature nutlets ca 1 mm long, attached to a slender stipe ca 5 mm long. Croat 4671.

Rare, along the shore. Fertile in the dry season. This linear-leaved aquatic is confused with no other plant.

The persistent perianth bristles assure wide dispersal in the wind.

Widely distributed in tropics and subtropics through­out the world. In Panama, in marshy areas; known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and Bocas del Toro and from premontane dry forest in Los Santos.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Typha domingensis fruit
  • Typha domingensis fruit
  • Typha domingensis fruit