Typha latifolia is a unisexual plant, yet it typically uses sexual reproduction. It is monoecious, and the male flower lies directly above the female flower on the same stem. The female flower is the brown velvet, sausage-shaped thing that we usually recognize a cattail by. The male flower is spiky and yellow and falls off after it sheds its pollen. The female flower matures before the male flower does. This allows for cross-pollination, where the pollen from one plant is used to fertilize the flower on another plant. The female creates abundant seed production and each spike can produce up to 200,000 seeds! This spike bursts under dry conditions, releasing the fruits. When the fruit hits the water it bursts open releasing the seeds. Also, all parts of the cattail are edible and they can be used to clean wastewater at sewage treatment plants, detoxify soils, act as raw material for wickerwork and plaster reinforcement. They were used extensively by the Native Americans for items like baskets, mats, and baby diapers.
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Survival Common Sense - How to Tell Look-Alike Poison Iris from Cattails
Awbury Arboretum - August 2019 - CATTAIL
NC State University - North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox