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Typhaceae

Typhaceae (reedmaces, cat's-tails, sometimes erroneously called bulrushes) A family of monocotyledonous (see MONOCOTYLEDON) herbs, that have erect, unbranched stems. The flowers are tiny, but numerous, in a terminal, cylindrical spike. The lower part of this spike consists of close-packed female flowers, densely surrounded by hairs (which may represent the perianth), the upper part consists of male flowers with 2–5, often united, stamens. Each female floret has a stalked, unilocular ovary. The fruits are achenes which dry and split. Species of Typha are important colonists of shallow, fresh water, where they help to consolidate muds. There is 1 genus, with 10–12 species.

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Typha

Typha (reedmace; family Typhaceae) A genus of tall, stout, rhizomatous herbs which grow in shallow water. They are usually more than 2 m in height, with long, simple stems. The leaves arise from the base and are linear and elongated with a thick, spongy inner tissue, sheathing at the base. The plant relies on wind pollination and wind dispersal. The leaves of T. latifolia (reedmace) are used as weaving material for baskets and mats. There are 10–12 species, found in shallow, freshwater habitats of temperate and tropical regions throughout the world.

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