Typha laxmannii
Midwest Noxious Weed: Do Not Plant

Common Name: bullrush 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Typhaceae
Native Range: Eurasia
Zone: 4 to 10
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to November
Bloom Description: Yellow (male) and green (female)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Birds
This plant is listed as a noxious weed in one or more Midwestern states outside Missouri and should not be moved or grown under conditions that would involve danger of dissemination.


Easily grown in rich loams in full sun to part shade in water to 12” deep. Cattails are aggressive colonizers that if left unrestrained will crowd out most other marginal plants. Plant in containers or tubs to restrain spread. If planted directly in the muddy shallows of ponds or pools, site plants carefully because the roots go deep and are hard to eradicate once established. Plants may self-seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Typha laxmannii, commonly called graceful cattail, is native to marshes and wetlands in Europe and Asia. It is a marginal aquatic perennial that spreads by creeping rhizomes to form dense colonies in shallow water. Features narrow, upright, sword-like, linear, mostly basal, green leaves (to 5’ tall) and a stiff, unbranched central flower stalk that is typically equal to or slightly less than the height of the leaves. 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 separated by a gap of up to 2” of stalk. Flowers bloom in summer. After bloom, the male flowers rapidly disperse, leaving a naked stalk tip. The pollinated female flowers turn brown as the seeds mature, forming the familiar cylindrical, sausage-like, cattail fruiting spike (to 4” 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. Large stands of cattails serve as important nesting areas and cover for wildlife. Synonymous with T. stenophylla.

Genus name comes from the Greek name.


No serious insect or disease problems. Aggressive spreader outside of containers.


Water gardens, ponds.