BULRUSH

GREAT REEDMACE

Typha latifolia

Bulrush Family [Typhaceae]

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

Pappus: pappusZpossible (white, simple)
pappus8jul pappus8july pappus8aug pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct pappus8nov

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8brown
inner
inner8cream
petals
petalsZ0
type
typeZspiked
type
typeZclustered
stem
stem8round

3rd Sept 2008, Droylsden Canal (dis-used), M/cr. Photo: © RWD
From 1.5m to 3m tall (same as for Lesser Bulrush), inhabits reed swamps and almost anywhere where there is fairly shallow (up to half-metre deep) slow-moving or stagnant fresh water, such as canals, as here, as long as passing narrowboats do not navigate through it (some hope!).


22nd May 2009, Seathwaite, Duddon Valley, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Here occupying fenced-off wet farmland. I spreads by suckering (and by seeds with simple pappii which are blown by the wind - the white fluffy bits atop)


8th July 2014, south coast, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Here in a wettish Willow 'tree' slack.


22nd May 2009, Seathwaite, Duddon Valley, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Some of them have gone to seed (the white pappii atop).


7th Aug 2007, Martin Mere, Burscough Bridge, Sefton. Photo: © RWD
The female spike (fat and brown) is topped by a thinner male spike (but here the male flowers have dropped off). Some leaves over-top the flower spikes on Bulrush. The leaves (at between 8-24mm wide) are wider than those of Lesser Bulrush (3-8mm wide).


8th July 2014, south coast, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Despite having somewhat thin female spikes (the lower spikes - but maybe they are not yet fully grown?) these specimens must be Bulrush (and not Lesser Bulrush) because there is no gap between the female spike at the bottom and the male spike atop.


8th July 2014, south coast, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Male spike atop with pale brown stamens. Dark-chocolate coloured female spike below, between 18 - 30mm across (milk-chocolate brown and slightly thinner at only 13 - 25mm across for Lesser Bulrush)


3rd Sept 2008, Droylsden Canal (dis-used), M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The stamens, between 1 to five per floret, are usually fused together only parting near the end where the anthers are (this is the same as for Lesser Bulrush).


3rd Sept 2008, Droylsden Canal (dis-used), M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The dark-chocolate female florets.


3rd July 2015, M/cr Bolton & Bury Canal, Nob End, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flower spikes emerging from their leafy sheathes.


9th July 2014, feeder canal, Burrs, Bury, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Some leafy sheathes still poking out from the male flower spike.


9th July 2014, feeder canal, Burrs, Bury, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Your Author does not know why this male flower spike is lumpy, but hopes to find out soon.


3rd July 2015, M/cr Bolton & Bury Canal, Nob End, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A normal-looking male spike


3rd July 2015, M/cr Bolton & Bury Canal, Nob End, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Same male spike, enlarged to show the florets with stamens.


Not to be semantically confused with : Bullwort (Ammi majus) [an umbellifer plant with similar name]

Easily mistaken for : Lesser Bulrush (Typha angustifolia) to which it is related (see text for differences but the main differentiation is by the wider leaves and the zero gap between upper male and lower female spikes).

Hybridizes with : Lesser Bulrush (aka Lesser Reedmace) (Typha angustifolia) to produce Typha × glauca (Typha angustifolia x latifolia)

A native aquatic plant able to populate shallow freshwater ponds, lakes, canals, ditches and slow running streams it is able to spread by rhizomes and by the seeds borne on the wind by a simple pappus. It tolerates water to a depth of 50cm, being shallower than that which Lesser Bulrush can grow in (at least 50cm). Bulrush occupies more territory than does Lesser Bulrush, but that can tolerate waters with less nutrients and is able to grow better near the coast.

In the USA Bulrushes are called 'Cattails'.


  Typha latifolia  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Typhaceae  

Distribution
 family8Bulrush family8Typhaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Typha
Typha
(Bulrushes)

BULRUSH

GREAT REEDMACE

Typha latifolia

Bulrush Family [Typhaceae]