Demonstration Wetlands Garden Project

Water Mill Museum, Old Mill Road, Water Mill, New York

Broadleaf Cattail    Typha latifolia

This common cattail can grow to a height of six feet or more.  A good plant for erosion control, its rhizome roots form dense horizontal mats that hold the soil in place and encourage silt build-up and shoreline expansion. Dense stands of this perennial provide shelter and nesting for songbirds and waterfowl. Plant the roots three to four inches deep in soil or mud. When planted in water, the roots need protection from grazing muskrats.

The Shinnecock Indians harvested many parts of this plant -- for food, for fiber for mats and baskets, and for calking and other home uses.

image credits: Betty Kistler


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© 2007 Water Mill Museum, 41 Old Mill Road, Water Mill, Long Island, New York 11976
updated July 20, 2007