Cattails are very common in wetlands. Cattails grow well in shallow water. Cattails don’t have typical roots; instead they have underground stems. The brownish spikes are the flowers of the cattail. Each spike has two parts: the upper part has the male flowers and the lower part has the female flowers. The plant relies on wind to transfer the pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers.
Family – Typhaceae, cattail family
Genus species – Typha latifolia
Male and female flowers are separate but on the same plant (monoecious). Flowers are borne on dense spikes. The upper part of the spike bears male flowers and the lower part of the spike bears female flowers.
Seeds are very small, attached to a fine hair, dispersed by wind.
Cattails have extensive underground rhizomes.
Typha is from the Latin for "bulrush-like." The species name Latifolia is from the Latin for "wide-leaved."