Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Typha angustifolia
(lesser bulrush)

Toolbox

Datasheet

Typha angustifolia (lesser bulrush)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 25 April 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Typha angustifolia
  • Preferred Common Name
  • lesser bulrush
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • T. angustifolia is distributed throughout the temperate northern hemisphere, occurring in at least 56 countries. There is some dispute over its native distribution. The Kew Database regards the species as native...

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report

Pictures

Top of page
PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Thin, cylindrical spikes of male and female flowers of T. angustifolia.
TitleInflorescence
CaptionThin, cylindrical spikes of male and female flowers of T. angustifolia.
Copyright©K.J. Murphy
Thin, cylindrical spikes of male and female flowers of T. angustifolia.
InflorescenceThin, cylindrical spikes of male and female flowers of T. angustifolia.©K.J. Murphy

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Typha angustifolia L.

Preferred Common Name

  • lesser bulrush

International Common Names

  • English: lesser reedmace; narrowleaf cattail
  • Spanish: abea; espadaña; junco de la pasion
  • French: massette a feuilles etroites
  • Portuguese: taboa; tabua-estreita

Local Common Names

  • Argentina: totora
  • Australia: cumbungi
  • Belgium: kleine Lisdodde
  • Brazil: taboa
  • Colombia: enea
  • Dominican Republic: enea
  • Germany: Schmalblaettriger Rohrkolben
  • Indonesia: purun
  • Italy: stiancia minore
  • Japan: himegama; hime-gama
  • Malaysia: banat
  • Netherlands: kleine Lisdodde
  • Philippines: balangot
  • Thailand: kok chaang; thoup susi
  • Uruguay: totora
  • Venezuela: enea
  • Vietnam: co nen; thuy huong

EPPO code

  • TYHAN (Typha angustifolia)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

T. angustifolia is distributed throughout the temperate northern hemisphere, occurring in at least 56 countries. There is some dispute over its native distribution. The Kew Database regards the species as native to both the Palearctic and Nearctic but the USDA Plants Database gives its status in the USA as introduced. Most reports of problems come from Eurasia and North America. It is not listed (in 2007) as a noxious weed on either the US Federal, nor any state listing, although it is included in some state manuals for control of invasive plants (e.g. Wisconsin). It is a competitive species occurring in aquatic to wetland habitats, primarily considered a nuisance in North America where it invades and displaces other, less competitive, wetland and emergent species, causing loss of biodiversity. Otherwise, its impact is generally low, and often as part of a mixed community of native species causing overgrowth of drainage channels.

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Typhales
  •                         Family: Typhaceae
  •                             Genus: Typha
  •                                 Species: Typha angustifolia

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

The taxonomy of Typhaceae is somewhat complex. Some authorities combine Typha angustifolia with Typha domingensis, under the former name, but both the USDA Plants Database, and the Kew Index separate the two species (Chambers et al., 2008), and only T. angustifolia, sensu stricto, is dealt with here. Some workers have suggested that T. angustifolia was early introduced from Europe into Atlantic Coastal North America and migrated westward (Stuckey and Salamon, 1987). In South America Fernández et al. (1990), consider T. domingensis to be a separate species, and isoenzyme studies by Sharitz et al. (1980) on North American material provide further evidence for this. At least eight other species are commonly recognized, although only three of these (Typha javanica, Typha orientalis and Typha elephantina are serious causes of weed problems (Sainty and Jacobs, 1988; Gopal, 1990).

Species of Typha are known to hybridize (
Stace, 1975) and ecotype formation is common, particularly in Typha latifolia (Grace and Wetzel, 1983).

Description

Top of page

T. angustifolia is a slender perennial aquatic emergent plant, growing to 3 m tall, but usually smaller. It has branched creeping rhizomes, 2-4 cm in diameter, commonly 70 cm or even longer, with dense fibrous root masses occurring at the base of stems and at rhizome nodes. Stems are unbranched and round with long (60-80 cm), linear leaves, 3-12 mm wide and deep green. Leaves are strongly planoconvex, numbering <10 per stem, sheathing at the base, and commonly overtopping the inflorescence. The inflorescence is a thin, dense crowded cylindrical spike of male flowers (brown to yellowish) above a similar spike of female flowers (reddish to dark brown), with a gap of approximately 10 mm between the two. Very large numbers of small pendulous seeds, with a straight, narrow embryo are produced.

Distribution

Top of page

T. angustifolia is distributed throughout the temperate northern hemisphere, occurring in at least 56 countries (Holm et al., 1997; Chambers et al., 2008). There is some dispute over its native distribution. The Kew Database regards the species as native to both the Palearctic and Nearctic but the USDA Plants Database gives its status in the USA as introduced. Most reports of problems come from Eurasia and North America. It is not listed (in 2007) as a noxious weed on either the US Federal, nor any State listing, although it is included in some state manuals for control of invasive plants (e.g. Wisconsin: Hoffman and Kearns, 1997).

Anderson (1990) reported T. angustifolia as a weed species throughout the southwestern USA, whereas species of Typha also caused problems in the northwestern states. In general, with the exception of Florida, Typha weeds appear to cause fewer problems in the eastern USA (Steward, 1990).

According to the Kew Database, records from the following countries are highly likely to be T. domingensis: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Australia, Micronesia (K Murphy, University of Glasgow, UK, personal communication, 2007).

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AfghanistanPresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
CambodiaPresentMoody, 1989; Waterhouse, 1993Highly likely to be T. domingensis
ChinaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008Manchuria and north-central China
-JiangsuPresentYe et al., 2008
-Nei MengguPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
-ShanxiPresentWu and Zhang, 2006
-XinjiangPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
Georgia (Republic of)PresentNativeChambers et al., 2008Given in Kew database as 'Transcaucasus'
IndiaPresentMoody, 1989Highly likely to be T. domingensis
IndonesiaPresentMoody, 1989Highly likely to be T. domingensis
IranPresentBischof, 1971; Holm et al., 1991
IsraelPresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
JapanPresentHolm et al., 1991; Nishihiro et al., 2004
JordanPresentHolm et al., 1991
KazakhstanPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
Korea, Republic ofPresentHolm et al., 1991; Lee et al., 2001; Kim et al., 2003
LaosPresentWaterhouse, 1993Highly likely to be T. domingensis
LebanonPresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
MalaysiaPresentMoody, 1989; Waterhouse, 1993Highly likely to be T. domingensis
NepalPresentMoody, 1989; eFlorasorg, 2009
PhilippinesPresentWaterhouse, 1993Highly likely to be T. domingensis
SingaporePresentWaterhouse, 1993Highly likely to be T. domingensis
Sri LankaPresentMoody, 1989Highly likely to be T. domingensis
SyriaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
TaiwanPresentNativeeFlorasorg, 2009
TajikistanPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
ThailandPresentWaterhouse, 1993Highly likely to be T. domingensis
TurkeyPresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
UzbekistanPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
VietnamPresentWaterhouse, 1993Highly likely to be T. domingensis

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
CongoPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
EgyptPresentHolm et al., 1991
GhanaPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
KenyaPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
MoroccoPresentHolm et al., 1991; Ennabili et al., 1998
MozambiquePresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
SudanWidespreadHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
TanzaniaPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
UgandaPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis

North America

BermudaPresentBritton, 1918
CanadaPresentAnderson, 1990
-British ColumbiaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
-ManitobaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
-New BrunswickPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
-Nova ScotiaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
-OntarioPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
-Prince Edward IslandPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
-QuebecPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
-SaskatchewanPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
MexicoPresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
USAPresentWaterhouse, 1993
-AlabamaPresentAnderson, 1990
-ArizonaPresentAnderson, 1990
-ArkansasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-CaliforniaPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-ColoradoPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-ConnecticutPresentHolm et al., 1991; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-DelawarePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-FloridaPresentSteward, 1990
-HawaiiPresentAnderson, 1990
-IdahoPresentAnderson, 1990
-IllinoisPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-IndianaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-IowaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-KansasPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-KentuckyPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-LouisianaLocalisedUSDA-NRCS, 2007
-MainePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-MarylandPresentNativeSteury, 1999; Chambers et al., 2008
-MassachusettsPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-MichiganPresentHolm et al., 1991; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-MinnesotaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-MissouriPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-MontanaPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007
-NebraskaPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-NevadaPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-New HampshirePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-New JerseyPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-New MexicoPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-New YorkPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-North CarolinaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-North DakotaPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-OhioPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-OklahomaPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-OregonPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-PennsylvaniaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-Rhode IslandPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-South CarolinaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-South DakotaPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-TennesseePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-TexasPresentAnderson, 1990
-UtahPresentAnderson, 1990
-VermontPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-VirginiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-WashingtonPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-West VirginiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-WisconsinPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008
-WyomingPresentAnderson, 1990; USDA-NRCS, 2007; Chambers et al., 2008

Central America and Caribbean

BahamasPresentBritton and Millspaugh, 1920
BelizePresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
Costa RicaPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
CubaPresentFernández et al., 1990Highly likely to be T. domingensis
Dominican RepublicPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
JamaicaPresentAzan and Webber, 2007Black River wetlands: together with invasive T. domingensis
Puerto RicoPresentFernández et al., 1990Highly likely to be T. domingensis

South America

ArgentinaWidespreadFernández et al., 1990Highly likely to be T. domingensis
BoliviaPresentFernández et al., 1990Highly likely to be T. domingensis
BrazilPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
-Sao PauloPresentMartins et al., 2009
ChilePresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
ColombiaPresentFernández et al., 1990Highly likely to be T. domingensis
EcuadorWidespreadFernández et al., 1990Highly likely to be T. domingensis
PeruWidespreadFernández et al., 1990Highly likely to be T. domingensis
SurinamePresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
UruguayPresentFernández et al., 1990Highly likely to be T. domingensis
VenezuelaPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
AustriaPresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
BelarusPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
BelgiumPresentDethioux, 1981; Holm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
BulgariaPresentYurukova and Kochev, 1993; Chambers et al., 2008
Czechoslovakia (former)PresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
DenmarkPresentHald-Mortensen, 1982; Chambers et al., 2008
EstoniaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
FinlandPresentNativeHorppila and Nurminen, 2001; Chambers et al., 2008
FrancePresentHolm et al., 1991; Ibañez et al., 1999; Chambers et al., 2008
-CorsicaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
GermanyPresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
GreecePresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
HungaryWidespreadHolm et al., 1991; Szabo et al., 2002; Somodi and Botta-Dukát, 2004; Chambers et al., 2008
IrelandPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
ItalyWidespreadHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
-SardiniaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
-SicilyPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
LatviaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
LithuaniaPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
NetherlandsPresentHolm et al., 1991; Coops et al., 2004; Chambers et al., 2008
NorwayPresentHolm et al., 1991; Often, 1998; Chambers et al., 2008
PolandPresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
PortugalPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
RomaniaPresentHolm et al., 1991; Stefan, 1998; Chambers et al., 2008
Russian FederationPresentHolm et al., 1991; Labutina et al., 1995; Vekhov, 2000; Chambers et al., 2008
-SiberiaPresentNativeKovács et al., 1996; Chambers et al., 2008
SerbiaPresentNativeKonstantinovic and Meseldzija, 2005Drainage channels
SlovakiaPresentHrivnak et al., 2001Ipel River
SpainPresentNativeDies-Jambrino and Fernandez-Anero, 1997; Chambers et al., 2008
SwedenPresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008
SwitzerlandPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
UKPresentHolm et al., 1991; Linton and Goulder, 2003; Chambers et al., 2008
UkrainePresentGorbik, 1988; Tsyusko et al., 2006; Chambers et al., 2008
-Krymskaya OblastPresentNativeChambers et al., 2008
Yugoslavia (former)PresentHolm et al., 1991; Chambers et al., 2008

Oceania

AustraliaPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis
FijiPresentHolm et al., 1991
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentHolm et al., 1991Highly likely to be T. domingensis

Habitat

Top of page

T. angustifolia is a plant of temperate drainage and irrigation channels, associated reservoir and pond systems, navigation canals, and natural freshwater and wetland systems (lakes, rivers, ponds, topogenous and soligenous mires, fens and other marsh systems). Because of its clonal growth pattern and high competitive ability, it tends to form monodominant stands in suitable habitats for growth. The related species T. latifolia occupies very similar habitats, but tends to be replaced by T. angustifolia in waters >15 cm deep (Grace and Wetzel, 1982). The optimal water depth is 11-25 mm, and neither species survives in water deeper than 60-80 cm under normal conditions. Neither plant is very tolerant of salinity, and only slightly more than mildly brackish conditions are tolerated (e.g. Crain et al., 2004). Salinity levels of even 1% causes leaf damage to T. latifolia, although there is some North American evidence that T. angustifolia is slighter more salt-tolerant than T. latifolia (Fossett and Calhoun, 1952). These observations match the known distribution of the two species in the UK (Grime et al., 1988). The plants prefer a soil pH of >5.5, and are absent from more acidic soils.

Habitat List

Top of page
CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Freshwater
 
Irrigation channels Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Lakes Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Reservoirs Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rivers / streams Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Ponds Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Brackish
Estuaries Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)

Biology and Ecology

Top of page

T. angustifolia is a competitive species (Grime et al., 1988), occurring in aquatic to wetland habitats. Weisner (1993) provided evidence to show that under productive (eutrophic) conditions, T. angustifolia has a competitive edge over T. latifolia, displacing the latter in the long term. More recent work has confirmed this, especially at high latitudes in North America, with precise outcomes dependent upon the balance of solar radiation and nutrient availability to competing populations of the two species (Tanaka et al., 2004). A high competitive ability for T. angustifolia has also been demonstrated in tidal wetlands of the northeastern United States (Farnsworth and Meyerson, 2003). However Mal et al. (1997) showed that over time, in Michigan wetlands, T. angustifolia was susceptible to competition from the strongly invasive (in N. America) Lythrum salicaria. Both T. latifolia and T. angustifolia have many similar adaptations, such as the possession of well-developed aerenchyma to supply air to root and rhizome systems growing in anoxic substrates (Tornbjerg et al., 1994). They also have an element of disturbance-tolerance in their survival strategy (Wilcox, 1995), typified by the emphasis on prolific seed production from wind- or self-pollinated inflorescences. The seed is easily wind- or water-transported within tiny fruits, the pericarp of which opens to release the seed after a period of contact with water (Krattinger, 1975). There is some seed dormancy, with germination being influenced by light, low oxygen and fluctuating temperatures.

Despite the importance to the plant of seed production, there is a considerable resource allocation to rhizome production, which provides an effective mechanism of clonal advance of up to 4 m/year (Fiala, 1971). Rhizome fragments are usually viable, float easily and provide an alternative method of regeneration of new clones to seed dispersal. A comprehensive overview of the biology of both T. angustifolia and T. latifolia is provided by Grace and Harrison (1986) and Holm et al. (1997).

Climate

Top of page
ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Tolerated Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Tolerated Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)

Water Tolerances

Top of page
ParameterMinimum ValueMaximum ValueTypical ValueStatusLife StageNotes
Depth (m b.s.l.) Optimum <0.45 preferred; 0.75 tolerated
Salinity (part per thousand) Optimum <1
Water pH (pH) 3.7 8.5 Optimum
Water temperature (ºC temperature) 5 20 Optimum

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

Indigenous curculionid beetles (Yang and Zhang, 1988) and noctuid moth larvae, such as Bellura obliqua (Penko and Pratt, 1986) are known to consume Typha tissues. Species of Typha are among the aquatic weeds controlled by the introduction of cyprinid fishes into waterways around the world (Julien and Griffiths, 1998). The muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) has been reported as significantly reducing biomass of T. angustifolia in coastal marshes of New York (Connors et al., 2000).

Environmental Impact

Top of page

T. angustifolia is primarily considered a nuisance in North America where it invades and displaces other, less competitive, wetland and emergent species, causing loss of biodiversity. Otherwise, its impact is generally low, and often as part of a mixed community of native species causing overgrowth of drainage channels.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Changed gene pool/ selective loss of genotypes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Modification of natural benthic communities
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts tourism
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Hybridization
  • Rapid growth

Uses

Top of page

Species of Typha have few uses for economic purposes, although the tubers are edible and have been used as food by indigenous peoples, notably in North America. Attempts have also been made to make paper with Typha pulp in the past, and Holm et al. (1991) state that a set of books published in 1765 with Typha paper still exists. They can be valuable components of constructed wetlands, for the purpose of wastewater cleanup, as they are efficient at accumulating heavy metals (Tjitrosoedirdjo and Sastroutomo, 1986), and also in removing nutrients and oils. Boyd (1970) calculated that Typha monocultures could (on a per hectare basis) remove up to 2600 kg of N and 400 kg of P per year from water, indicating a potentially high value for eutrophication control. Typha has been considered as a biomass crop for energy purposes (Yurukova and Kochev, 1993), but as in all aquatic plants its relatively high water content poses practical difficulties, particularly in harvesting.

Typha vegetation plays a very important role in wetland ecology at sites where it occurs, by providing food, shelter and nesting sites for waterfowl, fish and other wildlife (Dvorak, 1996), and has a role in wetland restoration projects (Dobberteen and Nickerson, 1991), although excessive growth can cause problems even in natural wetland systems, such as Spanish lagoons (Dies-Jambrino and Fernandez-Anero, 1997). T. angustifolia is of value for protecting banks from erosion in navigable river systems (Bonham, 1980).

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Control

Physical control

Wade (1990) provides a brief overview of Typha control by physical means. Cutting and dredging are common approaches used worldwide; cutting shoots below the waterline 2-3 times per year leads to depletion of rhizome carbohydrate reserves and can reduce growth by >90% (Sale and Wetzel, 1983; Husak et al., 1986). However, cutting above the water surface is much less efficient: in Czech fishponds a cut at 180 cm above the substrate had hardly any impact on stands of T. angustifolia, whereas cutting off stems at 80 cm above the substrate resulted in a reduction of about 65% in rhizome biomass compared with untreated controls. Burning of Typha foliage is counter-productive, and may even simulate growth of above-ground biomass (Holm et al., 1991).

Chemical control

Species of Typha are susceptible to the standard herbicides affecting emergent narrow-leaved weeds at the normal dose ranges, particularly dalapon (Barrett and Robson, 1974) and glyphosate (Seddon, 1981; Barrett, 1985; Schimming et al., 1987; Messersmith et al., 1992). However, they also respond to other herbicides, for example, fluridone (Parka et al., 1978) applied as a foliar spray. Arsenovic (1986) reported promising results using both imazapyr and glufosinate. In drainage channels in Serbia, glyphosate at 2.4 and 2.8 a.i. kg ha-1, glufosinate ammonium at 2.0 a.i. kg ha-1 and sulfosate [glyphosate] at 2.4 a.i. kg ha-1 were reported as effective against mixed emergent stands including T. angustifolia (Konstantininovic and Meseldija, 2005).

In nature reserves, for example in Spain, glyphosate has been used to manage invasive growths of T. angustifolia and other emergent species (Dies-Jambrino and Fernandez-Anero, 1997).

Biological control

Relatively little work has been done on the biological control of species of Typha, probably because of the cosmopolitan occurrence of both T. angustifolia and T. latifolia, which makes classic biocontrol inappropriate (although not ruling out inundative methods). Species of Typha are listed as being target weeds of Aristichthys nobilis and Ctenopharyngodon idella, cyprinid fishes that have been released into waterways around the world (Julien and Griffiths, 1998). Certain curculionid beetles have been suggested as having potential (Yang and Zhang, 1988). Noctuid moth larvae, such as Bellura obliqua, are also known to infest Typha in parts of North America (Penko and Pratt, 1986), but have not been exploited as a means of practical control.

References

Top of page

Anderson L, 1990. Aquatic weed problems and management in North America. (a) Aquatic weed problems and management in the western United States and Canada. In: Pieterse AH, Murphy KJ, eds. Aquatic Weeds. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 371-391.

Arsenovic M, 1986. Control of aquatic weeds with herbicides in drainage system Dunav-Tisa-Dunav in Yugoslavia. Proceedings, 7th international symposium on aquatic weeds., 31-35.

Azan S; Webber D, 2007. The characterization and classification of the Black River Upper Morass, Jamaica, using the three-parameter test of vegetation, soils and hydrology. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 17(1):5-23. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/113488923/ABSTRACT

Barrett PRF, 1985. Efficacy of glyphosate in the control of aquatic weeds. The herbicide glyphosate, 365-374.

Barrett PRF; Robson TO, 1974. Further studies on the seasonal changes in the susceptibility of some emergent plants to dalapon. Proceedings 12th British Weed Control Conference., 249-253.

Bischof F, 1971. Weed control in rice in Gilan and Mazandaran. Iranian Journal of Plant Pathology, 7:48-55.

Bonham AJ, 1980. Bank protection using emergent plants against boat wash in rivers and canals. Report, Hydraulics Research Station, UK, No. IT. 206:28 pp.

Boyd CE, 1970. Vascular aquatic plants for mineral nutrient removal from polluted waters. Economic Botany, 24:95-103.

Britton NL, 1918. Flora of Bermuda. New York, USA: Charles Scribner's Sons. 585 pp.

Britton NL; Millspaugh CF, 1920. The Bahama Flora. New York, USA: NL Britton & CF Millspaugh.

Chambers PA; Lacoul P; Murphy KJ; Thomaz SM, 2008. Global diversity of aquatic macrophytes in freshwater. Hydrobiologia, 595:9-26. http://springerlink.metapress.com/content/1573-5117/

Connors LM; Kiviat E; Groffman PM; Ostfeld RS, 2000. Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) disturbance to vegetation and potential net nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates in a freshwater tidal marsh. American Midland Naturalist, 143(1):53-63.

Coops H; Vulink JT; Nes EHVan, 2004. Managed water levels and the expansion of emergent vegetation along a lakeshore. Limnologica, 34:57-64.

Crain CM; Silliman BR; Bertness SL; Bertness MD, 2004. Physical and biotic drivers of plant distribution across estuarine salinity gradients. Ecology, 85(9):2539-2549. http://www.esajournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1890%2F03-0745

Dethioux M, 1981. Relics of the Belgian Phragmition. Colloques Phytosociologiques, No.10:351-368.

Dies Jambrino JI; Fernández-Anero F, 1997. Results of the recuperation of biodiversity in the Racó de l'Olla (l'Albufera de València) after the selective application of caculia and a low risk herbicide. Boletín de Sanidad Vegetal, Plagas, 23(1):17-37.

Dobberteen RA; Nickerson NH, 1991. Use of created cattail (Typha) wetlands in mitigation strategies. Environmental Management, 15(4):797-808

Dvorák J, 1996. An example of relationships between macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and their food resources in a shallow eutrophic lake. Hydrobiologia, 339(1-3):27-36.

Dömötörfy Z; Reeder D; Pomogyi P, 2003. Changes in the macro-vegetation of the Kis-Balaton Wetlands over the last two centuries: a GIS perspective. Hydrobiologia [International Conference on Limnology of Shallow Lakes, Balatonfüred, Hungary, 25-30 May 2002.], 506-509:671-679.

eFlorasorg, 2009. A collection of online floras. A collection of online floras. http://www.efloras.org

Ennabili A; Ater M; Radoux M, 1998. Biomass production and NPK retention in macrophytes from wetlands of the Tingitan Peninsula. Aquatic Botany, 62(1):45-56.

Farnsworth EJ; Meyerson LA, 2003. Comparative ecophysiology of four wetland plant species along a continuum of invasiveness. Wetlands, 23(4):750-762.

Fernández OA; Sutton DL; Lallana VH; Sabbatini MR; Irigoyen J, 1993. Aquatic weed problems and management in South and Central America. In: Aquatic weeds: the ecology and management of nuisance aquatic vegetation [ed. by Pieterse, A. H. \Murphy, K. J.]. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fernández OA; Sutton DL; Lallana VH; Sabbatini MR; Irigoyen JH, 1993. Aquatic weed problems and management in South and Central America. In: Pieterse AH, Murphy KJ, eds. Aquatic Weeds (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 406-425.

Fiala K, 1971. Seasonal changes in the growth of clones of Typha latifolia. Folia Geobotanica et Phytotaxonomica, 6:255-270.

Fossett N; Calhoun BM, 1952. Introgression between Typha latifolia and T. angustifolia. Evolution, 6:367-379.

Gopal B, 1990. Aquatic weed problems and management in Asia. In: Aquatic Weeds [ed. by Pieterse, A. H. \Murphy, K. J.]. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 318-340.

Gopal B, 1990. Aquatic weed problems and management in Asia. In: Pieterse AH, Murphy KJ, eds. Aquatic Weeds: the Ecology and Management of Nuisance Aquatic Vegetation. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 318-340.

Gorbik VP, 1988. Phenology and productivity of Typha angustifolia L. of the Dnepr reservoirs. Ukrains'kii Botanichnii Zhurnal, 45(6):39-42

Grace JB; Harrison JS, 1986. The biology of Canadian weeds. 73. Typha latifolia L., Typha angustifolia L. and Typha x glauca Godr. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 66(2):361-379

Grace JB; Wetzel RG, 1982. Niche differentiation between two rhizomatous plant species: Typha latifolia and Typha angustifolia. Canadian Journal of Botany, 60(1):46-57.

Grace JB; Wetzel RG, 1983. Variations in growth and reproduction within populations of two rhizomatous plant species: Typha latifolia and T. angustifolia. Oecologia, 53:258-263.

Grime JP; Hodgson JG; Hunt R, 1988. Comparative plant ecology. A functional approach to common British species. London, UK: Unwin Hyman Ltd., 679 pp.

Güsewell S; Nédic Cle, 2004. Effects of winter mowing on vegetation succession in a lakeshore fen. Applied Vegetation Science, 7(1):41-48.

Hald-Mortensen P, 1982. Aspects of preservation of the Tnder marsh. Nordisk Jordbrugsforskning, 64(4):570-572.

Hoffman R; Kearns K, 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants, Publ. ER-090 97. Madison, WI, USA: Bur. Endangered Resources, Dept. Natural Resources, 103 pp.

Holm LG; Pancho JV; Herberger JP; Plucknett DL, 1991. A Geographic Atlas of World Weeds. Malabar, Florida, USA: Krieger Publishing Company.

Horppila J; Nurminen L, 2001. The effect of an emergent macrophyte (Typha angustifolia) on sediment resuspension in a shallow north temperate lake. Freshwater Biol, 46:1447-1455.

Hrivnak R; Otahelova H; Valachovic M; Cvachova A, 2001. Aquatic and marsh plant communities of an inundation area of the Ipel' River (Rkm 96-119). Kitaibelia, 6:267-279.

Husák S; Kvet J; Plasencia Fraga JM, 1986. Experiments with mechanical control of Typha spp. stands. Proceedings, 7th international symposium on aquatic weeds., 175-181.

Ibañez C; Day JW Jr; Pont D, 1999. Primary production and decomposition of wetlands of the Rhône delta, France: interactive impacts of human modifications and relative sea level rise. Journal of Coastal Research, 15(3):717-731.

Julien MH; Griffiths MW, 1998. Biological control of weeds: a world catalogue of agents and their target weeds. Biological control of weeds: a world catalogue of agents and their target weeds., Ed. 4:x + 223 pp.

Kim Changkyun; Shin Hyunchur; Choi HongKeun, 2003. A phenetic analysis of Typha in Korea and far east Russia. Aquatic Botany, 75(1):33-43. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T4F-474DP1G-1&_user=10&_handle=W-WA-A-A-E-MsSAYVW-UUA-AUCAAZBAYY-WWUADBCUZ-E-U&_fmt=summary&_coverDate=01%2F31%2F2003&_rdoc=4&_orig=browse&_srch=%23toc%234973%232003%23999249998%23369524!&_cdi=4973&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=48e33cc0f62fcc07a649a5839cd70a28

Konstantinovic B; Meseldzija M, 2005. Aquatic weed vegetation of drainage channels and possibilities of their control. Herbologia, 6(1):85-90.

Kovács M; Turcsányi G; Kaszab L; Penksza K; Ötvös E, 1996. Distribution of chemical elements in the reed- and cattail beds of Lake Balaton. Bulletin of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Gödöllo´´, 1(No. 1995/96):21-28.

Krattinger K, 1975. Genetic mobility in Typha. Aquatic Botany, 1(1):57-70

Labutina IA; Zhivogliad AF; Gorbunov AK; Rusanov GM; Baldina EA; Leeuw Jde, 1995. The Astrakhanskiy Biosphere Reserve GIS. Part 3: vegetation map. ITC Journal, No. 3:197-201.

Lee DoJin; Cho JuSik; Ahn HoGeun, 2001. Distribution of riparian weed species in streams of Sunchon area, Jeonnam, Korea. Korean Journal of Weed Science, 21(3):236-243.

Linton S; Goulder R, 2003. Species richness of aquatic macrophytes in ponds related to number of species in neighbouring water bodies. Arch. Hydrobiol, 157:555-565.

Mal TK; Lovett-Doust J; Lovett-Doust L, 1997. Time-dependent competitive displacement of Typha angustifolia by Lythrum salicaria. Oikos, 79(1):26-33.

Martins D; Pitelli RA; Tomazella MS; Tanaka RH; Rodrigues ACP, 2009. Aquatic plant infestation assessment in Porto Primavera reservoir before final filling. (Levantamento da infestação de plantas aquáticas em Porto Primavera antes do enchimento final do reservatório.) Planta Daninha, 27(Especial):879-886. http://www.scielo.br/pd

Mehta I, 1979. Problem and control of Typha in the Chambal Command area. Indian Journal of Weed Science, 11:36-46.

Messersmith CG; Christianson KM; Thorsness KB, 1992. Influence of glyphosate rate, application date, and spray volume on cattail control. North Dakota Farm Research, 49(5):27-28.

Moody K, 1989. Weeds reported in Rice in South and Southeast Asia. Manila, Philippines: International Rice Research Institute.

Nishihiro J; Araki S; Fujiwara N; Washitani I, 2004. Germination characteristics of lakeshore plants under an artificially stabilized water regime. Aquatic Botany, 79(4):333-343. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T4F-4CSG582-2&_user=10&_handle=B-WA-A-W-E-MsSAYWW-UUW-AUEDBUUWYZ-AUEVYYAUYZ-ZUECDDBDB-E-U&_fmt=summary&_coverDate=08%2F31%2F2004&_rdoc=5&_orig=browse&_srch=%23toc%234973%232004%23999209995%23510936!&_cdi=4973&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=0542fa9b0f1c5d8e5c49494d6c479edb

Often A, 1998. Typha angustifolia as an alien in Hedmark county, south Norway. (Smalt dunkjevle Typha angustifolia som neofytt i Hedmark.) Blyttia, 56(2):94-95.

Parka SJ; Arnold WR; McCowen MC; Young CL, 1978. Fluridone: a new herbicide for use in aquatic weed control systems. Proceedings 5th EWRS International Symposium on Aquatic Weeds, Amsterdam., 179-187.

Penko JM; Pratt DC, 1986. The growth and survival of early instars of Bellura obliqua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Typha latifolia and Typha angustifolia. Great Lakes Entomologist, 19(1):35-42

Pieterse AH; Murphy KJ, 1990. Aquatic weeds: the ecology and management of nuisance aquatic vegetation. Aquatic weeds: the ecology and management of nuisance aquatic vegetation., 593 pp.

Ramírez C; San Martín J; San Martín C; Contreras D, 1991. The chemical composition and energetic content of the biomass of weeds in rice fields in central Chile. Turrialba, 41(4):551-563.

Sainty GR; Jacobs SWL, 1988. Water Plants in Australia. Sydney, Australia: Australian Water Resources Council.

Sale PJM; Wetzel RG, 1983. Growth and metabolism of Typha in relation to cutting treatments. Aquatic Botany, 15(3):321-334.

Schimming WK; Thorsness KB; Hickman MV; Messersmith CG; Lym RG, 1987. Cattail (Typha spp.) control with herbicides. Proceedings of the Western Society of Weed Science., Vol. 40:20.

Seddon JC, 1981. The control of aquatic weeds with the isopropylamine salt of N-phosphonomethyl glycine. Proceedings of the Conference on Aquatic Weeds and Their Control, Oxford, 1981., 141-148.

Sharitz RR; Wineriter SA; Smith MH; Lin EH, 1980. Comparison of isozymes among Typha species in the eastern United States. American Journal of Botany, 67(9):1297-1303

Soerjani M, 1980. Aquatic plant management in Indonesia. In: Furtado JI, ed. Tropical Ecology and Development. Proceedings 5th International Symposium on Tropical Ecology 1979. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: BIOTROP, 725-737.

Soerjani M; Parker C; Tjitrosemito S; Allen GE; Varshney CK; Mitchell DS; Pancho JV, 1976. Proceedings South-east Asian Workshop on Aquatic Weeds, BIOTROP Special Publication No. 1. Bogor, Indonesia: BIOTROP.

Somodi I; Botta-Dukát Z, 2004. Determinants of floating island vegetation and succession in a recently flooded shallow lake, Kis-Balaton (Hungary). Aquatic Botany, 79(4):357-366. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T4F-4CSP4PB-3&_user=10&_handle=B-WA-A-W-E-MsSAYWW-UUW-AUEDBUUWYZ-AUEVYYAUYZ-ZUECDDBDB-E-U&_fmt=summary&_coverDate=08%2F31%2F2004&_rdoc=7&_orig=browse&_srch=%23toc%234973%232004%23999209995%23510936!&_cdi=4973&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=648f9a7fdfafc78c2b8dc49161c0bac9

Stace CA, 1975. Introduction. In: Stace CA, ed. Hybridisation and the Flora of the British Isles. London, UK: Academic Press, 1-90.

Stefan N, 1998. The vegetation of Lake Raducu (Rbdd). Ana. Stiint. Univ. Al. I. Cuza, Sect. Iia Biol. Vegetala, 44:121-132.

Steury BW, 1999. Annotated list of vascular plants from a nontidal barrier wetland along the Chesapeake bay in Calvert county, Maryland. Castanea, 64(2):187-200.

Steward KK, 1993. Aquatic weed problems and management in the eastern United States. In: Aquatic Weeds [ed. by Pieterse, A. H. \Murphy, K. J.]. Oxford, UK: Oxford Scientific Press, 391-405.

Steward KK, 1993. Aquatic weed problems and management in the eastern United States. In: Pieterse AH, Murphy KJ, eds. Aquatic Weeds (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford Scientific Press, 391-405.

Stuckey RL; Salamon DP, 1987. Typha angustifolia in North America: A foreigner masquerading as a native. Proceedings of the Ohio Academy of Science, Columbus, USA.

Szabo M; Lakatos G; Toth A; Kiss MK, 2002. Study on the aquatic weeds and periphyton in the dead arms of River Tisza (Hungary). In: Study on the aquatic weeds and periphyton in the dead arms of River Tisza (Hungary) [ed. by Dutartre, A. \Montel, M. -. H.]., France: Moliets et Maa, 323-326.

Tanaka N; Asaeda T; Hasegawa A; Tanimoto K, 2004. Modelling of the long-term competition between Typha angustifolia and Typha latifolia in shallow water - effects of eutrophication, latitude and initial advantage of belowground organs. Aquatic Botany, 79(4):295-310. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T4F-4CTTMH9-1&_user=10&_handle=B-WA-A-W-E-MsSAYWW-UUW-AUEDBUUWYZ-AUEVYYAUYZ-ZUECDDBDB-E-U&_fmt=summary&_coverDate=08%2F31%2F2004&_rdoc=2&_orig=browse&_srch=%23toc%234973%232004%23999209995%23510936!&_cdi=4973&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=9e909487a6afddb75f76c38b2f9352f2

Tjitrosoedirdjo SS; Sastroutomo SS, 1986. The uptake of some heavy metals by Typha angustifolia. Biotrop Special Publication, 24:93-99.

Tornbjerg T; Bendix M; Brix H, 1994. Internal gas transport in Typha latifolia L. and Typha angustifolia L. 2. Convective throughflow pathways and ecological significance. Aquatic Botany, 49(2/3):91-105.

Tsyusko OV; Smith MH; Oleksyk TK; Goryanaya J; Glenn TC, 2006. Genetics of cattails in radioactively contaminated areas around Chornobyl. Molecular Ecology, 15(9):2611-2625. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=showIssues&code=mec

USDA; NRCS, 2007. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Varshney CK; Singh KP, 1976. A survey of the aquatic weed problems in India. Aquatic weeds in S.E. Asia. Proceedings of a Regional Seminar on Noxious Aquatic Vegetation, New Delhi, 1973., 31-41.

Vekhov NV, 2000. Distribution of plants in natural and artificial reservoirs in Kenozerski National Park (Arkhangelsk region). Botanicheskii- Zhurna, 85:94-104.

Wade PM, 1990. Physical control of aquatic weeds. In: Pieterse AH, Murphy KJ, eds. Aquatic Weeds. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 93-135.

Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.

Weisner SEB, 1993. Long-term competitive displacement of Typha latifolia by Typha angustifolia in a eutrophic lake. Oecologia, 94(3):451-456.

Wilcox DA, 1995. Wetland and aquatic macrophytes as indicators of anthropogenic hydrologic disturbance. Natural Areas Journal, 15(3):240-248.

Wu YuZhen; Zhang Feng, 2006. Patterns of dominant populations of wetland vegetation in Sanggan River Watershed, Shanxi. Bulletin of Botanical Research, 26(6):735-741.

Yang ZS; Zhang XQ, 1987. Sphenophorus sp. (Col.: Curculionidae), a potential biological control agent of the weed Typha angustifolia L. Chinese Journal of Biological Control, 3(1):44.

Ye Chun; Yu HaiChan; Song XiangFu; Zou GuoYan, 2008. Effects of substrate condition and cultivated way on the growth of Phragmites australis Trin. and Typha angustifolia L. Research of Environmental Sciences, 21(1):59-63. http://www.hjkxyj.org.cn

Yurukova LD; Kochev KK, 1993. Energy content and storage in the biomass of hydrophytes in Bulgaria. Archiv für Hydrobiologie, 127(4):485-495.

Links to Websites

Top of page
WebsiteURLComment
Annotated Checklist of the Flora of Nepalhttp://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=110&taxon_id=200024679
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kewhttp://www.rbgkew.org.uk/wcsp/home.do
USDA-PLANTShttp://plants.usda.gov

Contributors

Top of page

29/10/2007 Updated by:

Kevin Murphy, University of Glasgow, IBLS - DEEB, Graham Kerr Building, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map