Typhaby Istvan Kadar Photography
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ABOUT THE ART
Typha plants are conspicuous and hence have many common names. They may be known in British English as bulrush, or reedmace, in American English as cattail, catninetail, punks, or corn dog grass, in Australia as cumbungi or bulrush, and in New Zealand as raupo.
Typha leaves are alternate and mostly basal to a simple, jointless stem that eventually bears the flowering spikes. Typha plants are monoecious and bear unisexual, wind-pollinated flowers, developing in dense spikes. The numerous male flowers form a narrow spike at the top of the vertical stem. Each male (staminate) flower is reduced to a pair of stamens and hairs, and withers once the pollen is shed. The very large numbers of tiny female flowers form a dense, sausage-shaped spike on the stem below the male spike — in larger species this can be up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long. When ripe the heads disintegrate into dense cottony fluff, from which the seeds disperse by wind.