Typha minima

Common Name: bullrush 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Typhaceae
Native Range: Eurasia
Zone: 3 to 10
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to November
Bloom Description: Yellow (male) and green (female)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds


Easily grown in rich wet loams in full sun to part shade. Will grow in shallow water or wet, boggy soils. In water gardens, plant in containers set in no more than 6” of water. May be planted directly in the muddy shallows of ponds or pools. Spreads by rhizomes, but is more restrained than most larger species of cattail. May self-seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Typha minima, called dwarf cattail, miniature cattail or least cattail, is native to marshes and wetlands in Europe and Asia. This is the smallest of the cattails, typically growing to only 18” (less frequently to 24”) tall. Its dwarf size makes it an ideal marginal aquatic perennial for smaller water gardens, pools and tubs. Features narrow, upright, grass-like, linear, mostly basal, green leaves and a stiff, unbranched central flower stalk. Plants are monoecious, with each flower stalk being topped by two sets of minute flowers densely packed into a cylindrical inflorescence. Yellowish male (staminate) flowers are located at the top of the inflorescence and greenish female (pistillate) flowers are located underneath. In this species, the staminate and pistillate flowers are sometimes but not always separated by a short naked segment. Flowers bloom in summer. After bloom, the male flowers rapidly disperse, leaving a naked stalk tip. The pollinated female flowers turn rich brown as the seeds mature, forming a rounded fruiting spike (to only 2” long in this species). Foliage turns yellow-brown in autumn. Fruiting spikes usually persist to early winter before disintegrating. Cattails are valued for both fresh and dried flower arrangements.

Genus name comes from the Greek name.

Specific epithet means smaller.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Water gardens, ponds, tubs and patio containers.