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Typha latifolia has interactions with many other organisms, including many animals. T. latifolia is very closely related to Typha angustifolia. T. angustifolia can be distinguished from T. latifolia by the water depth it grows at. T. angustifolia grows in deeper water. It is also occurs as a co-dominant in mixed stands with Bulrush (Scirpus acutus, Scirpus californicus) and Maiden cane (Panicum hemitomon). T. latifolia forms hybrid forms with T. angustifolia, the narrow-leaved cattail, and T.domingensis, the southern cattail. These hybrids are only found where the areas overlap, in east-central US coast and central California. 


T. latifolia provides cover and about 5-10% of a water bird’s diet. During dry conditions, livestock and other native hoofed animals utilize it for food. The plant is also used by deer as a cover.


Above: white-tailed deer 

(See also: deer ticks, which can be found in the wetlands)


Waterfowl, cranes, grebes, wrens, pheasants, geese, mallards, and small mammals utilize it for food, important nesting and as a relaxing environment. The plant is extremely important to common muskrats, providing a major food source and material for nesting habitats. White-footed mice also utilize the plant as a home. Many types of moths (Bellura oblique, Dicymolomia julianalis, Simyra henrici) feed on the leaves and stalk.

              Above: pheasant 


Humans also have many uses for T. latifolia. Almost every part of the plant is edible and has been used in different countries or tribes. The tissues contain tannin, a substance that is used in tanning, dyeing, and as an astringent. Many medicinal uses were also found. [See interesting facts for more information on human uses.]


          song sparrow                              Simyra henrici                             tannin powder

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