Alphabetical Plant Listing

Typha minima (Dwarf Cattail)

Dwarf Cattail, Miniature Cattail, Least Cattail


The smallest of the cattails, Typha minima (Dwarf Cattail) is a slender, aquatic perennial with narrow, upright, linear, grass-like, green leaves 8-30 in. long (20-75 cm), that turn golden brown in the fall. In mid summer to late fall, the plant bears small cylindrical inflorescences, up to 2 in. long (5 cm), composed of tiny male, staminate flowers in the upper portion and female, pistillate flowers below. The male flowers are golden yellow at the time they shed their pollen, then they disintegrate, leaving a naked stalk tip. The densely packed female spike turns from green to rich brown as the seeds mature. The fertilized flowers produce single-seeded, nutlike achenes with long, slender hairs that allow for wind and water transport of the seeds. The fruiting spikes usually persist to early winter before disintegrating. They are popular for cut flower arrangements. Native to marshes, swamps and wetlands in Europe and Asia, Dwarf Cattail is an ideal marginal aquatic perennial for smaller ponds, tubs and aquatic container planting.

  • Grows up to 18-24 in. tall (45-60 cm) and 12-18 in. wide (30-45 cm). Will spread by rhizomes, but is more restrained than most other species.
  • A full sun to light shade lover, this plant thrives in fertile, boggy soil or pond margins at up to 4 in. (10cm) water depth.
  • Remove dead leaves and old flower stems before the onset of new growth in spring.
  • Propagate by division in spring.
  • Native to Europe and Asia.
  • Find where this plant is invasive in the U.S.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 10
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Perennials
Plant Family Typha - Cattails
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" (45cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Rain Gardens, Water Gardens

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Stefan Rotter, Beekeepx, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 10
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Perennials
Plant Family Typha - Cattails
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" (45cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Rain Gardens, Water Gardens

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