Three varieties of cattail are discovered in Wisconsin—one native and also desirable, and two aggressive and invasive. Broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia) is the “good guy.” Narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia) is among the “bad guys.” The other poor guy is created when the various other two varieties cross-breed, developing the hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca). Hybrid cattail is aggressive and also needs control. Both narrow-leaved and also hybrid cattail take over wetlands, specifically those receiving nutrient-rich runoff. Hybrid cattail spreads conveniently through underground growth to kind very big patches, crowding the end all various other plants.

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Unfortunately the bad guys are really common in Wisconsin (especially the southern part of the state). The cross-breeding between varieties is so frequent that that has come to be pretty much difficult to determine the native from the invasive species by what the plants look like.

How do I recognize invasive cattail?If girlfriend have large stands that cattail taking over your wetland, you likely have actually one of the invasive cattails. While many publications will phone call you the the invasive narrow-leaved and also hybrid cattail deserve to be identified from the indigenous broad-leaved cattails using flowers and also leaf width, recent research on cattail genes conducted in by Northeastern Illinois University suggested that using physical attributes to determine the types of a cattail caused a mis-identification that the plant much more than 75% of the time. So it’s finest to look at just how the plant is behaving in her wetland and also manage the accordingly. If the cattail is dense and crowds the end other aboriginal plants, you’ll desire to take procedures to control it.



Where does it grow?Invasive cattails flourish well in wetlands receiving nutrient-rich runoff. Cattail grow in a selection of water depths from very shallow to numerous feet deep.

How does it spread?Narrow-leaved cattail spreads largely by seed. Hybrid cattail diffusion aggressively v underground roots.

How perform I regulate it?The “cut and also flood” method of cattail control is really effective. If your timing is good, you can use this an approach to successfully regulate cattails there is no chemicals. The cut and also flood an approach involves mowing or cutting the plants low to the ground and then flooding the site so the water is at the very least three inches above the reduced stems. This therapy works due to the fact that water seeps into the roots with the reduced stems, ironically drowned this water-loving plant. This an approach is most ideal for wetlands through water level control structures; however, winter cutting adhered to by feather flooding may additionally work on her site. Herbicide, hand-pulling, hand-cutting, and also burning can likewise be effective at knocking back invasive cattail.

You can learn much more about cattails ~ above the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive species Consortium’s website

Photos by mary Harte, rob Routledge, and also Pat Trochell


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