Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Reliable separation of the two common species of Typha and their hybrid, T. X glauca Godr., is best achieved with floral characters. The reduced size and crowded condition of the flowers in the spike requires that a cluster of female flowers be removed from the spike and observed under magnifications of 20-30X. Higher magnifications may be needed for pollen grains. If the material is dried, the flowers or pollen should be wetted with a wetting solution, e.g., soap-water solution, to restore structures to natural size and shape.
References: Fassett, N. C. and B. M. Calhoun. 1952. Introgression between Typha latifolia and T. angustifolia. Evolution 6:367-379. Hotchkiss, N. and H. L. Dozier. 1949. Taxonomy and distribution of North American cattails. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 41:237-254. Lee, D. W. 1975. Population variation and introgression in North American Typha. Taxon 24:633-641. Smith, S. G. 1967. Experimental and natural hybrids in North American Typha (Typhaceae). Amer. Midl. Naturalist 78:257-287.
|1||Pistillate bracteoles absent; stigmas dark brown, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate; staminate and pistillate portions of the spike usually contiguous; pollen released predominantly in tetrads.||T. latifolia|
|1||Pistillate bracteoles present (these reduced and appearing like gynophore hairs with slightly broadened brown tips in T. X glauca); stigmas pale brown, linear to linear-lanceolate; staminate and pistillate portions of the spike usually separated; pollen released in monads or in a mixture of monads, diads, triads and tetrads.||Lead 2|
|2||Pistillate bracteoles broader than the linear stigmas; pollen in monads.||T. angustifolia|
|2||Pistillate bracteoles narrower than the linear-lanceolate
stigmas; pollen usually in a mixture of monads, diads, triads
|T. X glauca|