Rhizomatous, monoecious, emergent perennial, herb, 2-4.5 m high. Fl. brown, Nov to Dec or Jan. Winter-wet depressions, permanent wetlands, irrigation channels.
Alternative Names. Cumbungi, Cattail, Typha.
General Biology. Growth form. Sedge. Life form. Perennial. Reproduction. Primarily seed, also rhizomes. Dispersal. Wind, water, soil.
Notes. Both Typha orientalis (previously classified as naturalised in Western Australia) and T. domingensis are native to Western Australia with both species capable of aggressive invasion that can transform wetland ecosystems unless actively managed. The two species are difficult to separate, and intermediates have been found. Flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, however both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are wind-pollinated. Seedlings can flower after 6 months. Plants senesce in late summer after flowering. New shoots that are produced in autumn grow slowly over winter. Highly productive. Maximum above ground growth occurs during months of higher temperatures and long photoperiods, whereas productivity of roots and rhizomes is highest during low temperatures and short photoperiods. Loses more organic matter in sites subject to seasonal wet/dry hydrological cycles compared to permanently inundated sites. There can be marked differences in ecotypes. Management of Typha may impact on waterbird roosting sites and habitat.
Additional information. Origin. Eastern and northern Australia, temperate and tropical Asia, New Zealand. History of use/introduction. Food, medicines, soil stabilisation, biomass, fibres, water treatment. Similar native species. Typha domingensis.
Suggested method of management and control. Please note: A clearing permit or exemption will be required to manage this species within its natural range. Eradication is difficult due to prolific seed production and extensive rhizomatous roots. Apply Roundup Biactive® (360 g/L) at 13 ml/L when actively growing through wiping, backpack/handheld spray or high volume spray. The optimum time is between male flowers opening and 6 weeks after female flowers open. This period is usually the end of December through to February. Complete coverage of foliage is necessary. Avoid producing run-off or spray drift. Plants with one third of the stem below water may not absorb enough herbicide to be killed by spraying - either wait till water levels are lower or plants have matured. Cutting shoots 15 cm below the water surface two to three times in a season when actively growing, but before seeds are formed, greatly reduces stands. Repeat treatment annually to ensure against reinfestation. To avoid loss of water quality by anaerobic decomposition of dead plant material in water, consider physical removal of dead biomass or burning 6 weeks after spraying. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.
Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.