Though most Typha species in Florida are native, they nonetheless often grow to cover large areas of wetlands, lakes and rivers. They are among the most common of all aquatic and wetland plants anywhere. Cat-tails get their name from their brown cylindrical flower spikes which can be more than 1 ft. long. Cat-tails provide protective cover and nesting areas for animals and birds. Typha species occur almost always (estimated probability 99%) under natural conditions in wetlands.
Cat-tails are cat-tails. rhizomes extensive, fleshy; stems to 9 ft. tall; leaf blades strap-like, stiff, rounded on back, spiraling in top half, sheathed together at base to appear "flattened"; inflorescence spike-like, very densely packed with tiny flowers, male flowers in top cluster, female flowers in bottom cluster.
View the herbarium specimen image from the University of Florida Herbarium Digital Imaging Projects.
For brief control information, see Efficacy of Herbicide Active Ingredients Against Aquatic Weeds by K. Langeland, M. Netherland, and W. Haller.