1.1.1- Order Poales + Overview ThePoalesare a largeorderofflowering plantsin themonocotyledons, and includes families of plants such as thegrasses,bromeliads, andsedges. The earliest fossils attributed to the Poales date to the lateCretaceousperiod about 66 million years ago, though some studies (e.g., Bremer, 2002) suggest the origin of the group may extend to nearly 115 million years ago, likely inSouth America. The earliest known fossils includepollen and fruits. Theflowersare typically small, enclosed by bracts, and arranged ininflorescences(except in the genusMayaca, with solitary terminal flowers). The flowers of many species are wind pollinated; the seeds usually containstarch. The Poales are the most economically important order of monocots and possibly the most important order of plants in general. Within the order, by far the most important family economically is the family of grasses (Poaceae, syn. Gramineae), which includesbarley, maize,millet,rice, andwheat. + Scientific classification TheAPG III system(2009) accepts the order and places it in a clade calledcommelinids, in themonocots.Sixteen plant families are currently recognized by botanists to be part of Order Poales: Families of Order Poales include:
1.1.4-Species Typha latifolia - Broadleaf or Common cattail + Overview Typha latifolia(bulrush,common bulrush, broadleaf cattail,common cattail,great reedmace, cooper's reed,cumbungi) is aperennialherbaceous plant in thegenusTypha. It is found as anative plant species in North and South America, Europe,Eurasia, and Africa.In Canada, broadleaf cattail occurs in all provinces and also in theYukonandNorthwest Territories, and in the United States, it is native to all states except Hawaii. It is anintroducedand invasive species, and considered anoxious weed, in AustraliaandHawaii.It is not native but has been reported in Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. + Synonyms Massula latifolia(L.) Dulac Typha ambiguaSchur ex Rohrb. Typha angustifoliavar. inaequalisKronf. Typha angustifoliavar.media Kronf. Typha angustifoliavar.sonderi Kronf. Typha crassaRaf. Typha elatiorRaf. (Illegitimate) Typha elatiorBoreau(Illegitimate) Typha elongataDudley Typha engelmanniiA.Br. ex Rohrb. Typha intermediaSchur Typha latifoliavar.ambigua Sond. Typha latifoliavar.angustifolia Hausskn. Typha latifoliavar.bethulona (Costa) Kronf. Typha latifoliasubsp.capensis Rohrb. Typha latifoliaf.divisaLouis-Marie Typha latifoliavar.elataKronf. Typha latifoliavar.elatior Graebn. Typha latifoliavar.elongata Dudley Typha latifoliasubsp. eulatifoliaGraebn. Typha latifoliavar.gracilis Godr. Typha latifoliafo.remota Skvortsov Typha latifoliasubsp.maresii (Batt.) Batt. Typha latifoliavar.obconica Tkachik Typha latifoliavar.orientalis (C.Presl) Rohrb. Typha latifoliavar. remotiuscula(Schur) Simonk. Typha latifoliasubsp. shuttleworthii(W.D.J.Koch & Sond.) Stoj. & Stef. Typha latifoliavar. transsilvanica(Schur) Nyman Typha latifoliavar.typica Rothm. Typha majorCurtis Typha mediaPollini (Illegitimate) Typha palustrisBubani Typha pendulaFisch. ex Sond. Typha remotiusculaSchur Typha spathulifoliaKronf.
1.2- Origin and Distribution + Origin Cattail plants are native to Eurasia, northern Africa, and North America. + Distribution - Northern America: (Canada, USA). - Southern America: (Guatemala; Mexico; Brazil; Argentina; Paraguay). - Europe: (Denmark; Finland; Ireland; Norway; Sweden; United Kingdom; Austria; Belgium; Czechoslovakia; Germany; Hungary; Netherlands; Poland; Switzerland; Belarus; Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Russian Federation - European part; Ukraine; Albania; Bulgaria; Greece; Italy; Romania; ex-Yugoslavia; France; Portugal; Spain). - Africa: (Algeria; Morocco; Ethiopia; Kenya; Tanzania; Uganda and Nigeria). - Asia - temperate: (Afghanistan; Iran; Israel; Jordan; Lebanon; Syria; Turkey; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Georgia; Russian Federation - Ciscaucasia, Dagestan; Russian Federation; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan; Mongolia; China and Japan); - Asia - tropical: (Pakistan). - Known introduced range: Naturalised in Australia, present in New Zealand, South America and the Caribbean.. Source: USDA-ARS, 2005.
2- Characteristics of the Species Typha latifolia - Common cattail
2.1- Description + Plant Typha latifoliais 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 1 meters (3 feet).However, it has also been reported growing in floating mats in slightly deeper water.Typha latifoliagrows 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. The plant is 1.5 to 3 metres (5 to 10 feet) high and it has 2-4 cm (¾ to 1½ inch) broad leaves, and will generally grow out into 0.75 to 1 metre (2 to 3 feet) of water depth. Stems can be more than one foot long. + Leaves Leaves are strap-like and stiff; rounded on back; flat and D shaped. Leaves are straight in the bottom half but twisted and spiral in the top. They are thick and pale grayish-green in colour (NPWRC, 2005). + Flowers Typhaleaves are alternate and mostly basal on a simple, jointless stem that bears the flowering spikes. Typha latifoliaare very densely packed with tiny flowers, male flowers in top cluster and female flowers in bottom cluster (UoF, 2005).. Boreal Forest (2005) states that cattail can be distinguished by the following “male flowers are brown, minute, >1.3cm long, thickly clustered, anthers 1-3mm long.”. Female flowers are tiny, 2-3mm long when in flower, 10-15 mm long when in fruit. It flowers during May and June. + Fruits Female fruiting spike are pale green when in flower, drying to brownish, later blackish brown or reddish brown in fruit.The fruit is tiny and tufted nutlet (NPWRC, 2005) + Seeds The seeds are numerousand minute, 0.2 millimetres (0.0079 in) long, and attached to fine hairs. When ripe, the heads disintegrate into a cottony fluff from which the seeds disperse by wind.
2.2- Biological Characteristics + Ecology - Climates Typha latifoliahas been found in a variety of climates, including tropical, subtropical, southern and northern temperate, humid coastal, and dry continental. - Soil It grows where soil remains wet, saturated or flooded most of the growing season, in shallow freshwater and occurs in slightly blackish marshes. It prefers soil with high amounts of organic matter and can also grow on fine texture mineral soils. It is also found at elevations from sea level to 2,300 m (7,500 feet) beside the edge of fresh water lakes.
+ Organism type: aquatic plant Typha latifolia (common cattail) 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 1 meters (3 feet). Typha latifolia (common cattails) are among the most common of all aquatic plants. They are often a nuisance but also perform an important function in keeping a lake healthy by filtering the runoffs. Typha latifolia form dense monocultures when there is a wetland disturbance. They can reach up to 2 or 3 metres and grow prolifically from thick underground rhizomes, forming dense rhizome mats and litter which has an impact on species diversity by alteration of habitat. Dense Typha latifolia growth and litter may reduce the opportunity for other plants to establish or survive. However, it has also been reported growing in floating mats in slightly deeper water.Typha latifoliagrows 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. + Natural Food source for wildlife and birds Typha latifoliastands provide important
food cover for wildlife and birds. They establish habitats for waterfowl and
especially valuable in attracting nesting red-winged blackbird. Muskrats use
the foliage to construct their lodges, which in turn provide resting and
nesting sites for water birds (Rook, 2004).
3- The Uses of Common Cattail
Traditionally, Common Cattail (Typha latifolia) has been a part of many native North American cultures, as a source of food, medicine, and for other uses. 3.1- Food Uses Many parts of this plant are edible for human consumption. The young shoots were cooked as vegetables and the pollen are used in baking. Therhizomesare edible aftercookingand removing the skin, while peeled stems and leaf bases can be eaten raw, or cooked. Youngflowerspikes are edible as well. Rook (2004) states that the “native Americans used leaves and stems as food. Rhizomes were dried and ground into flour or eaten as cooked vegetables; young stems were eaten raw or cooked; and immature fruiting spikes were roasted”. In spring, the rootstocks and rhizomes were important food source for native people when other food was scarce (WSDoE, 2003). Note! WhileTypha latifoliagrows all over, including in rural areas, it is not advisable to eat specimens deriving from polluted wateras it absorbs pollutants and in fact is used as abioremediator. Specimens with a very bitter or spicy taste should not be eaten. 3.2- Medicinal Uses Some cultures make use of the roots ofTypha latifoliaas a poulticeforboils, burns, or wounds. 3.3- Other Uses Typha latifoliaover time have been many other uses. It has been used for thatch in roofing, or woven into mats, chairs and hats. It was a source of fiber for rayon and a crude, greenish brown paper; torches and tinder. Pollen was used in making fireworks; stuffing pillows, insulation, crude floatation devices, wound dressing, and lining for diapers (Boreal Forest, 2005).