Cattails (Typha spp.)
Cattails have flat to slightly rounded leaves that twist slightly over their length and can grow to 5 or 10 feet in height. Flowers form a dense dark brown, cigar-shape at the end of spikes (called the catkin). Cattails can be partially submerged or in boggy areas with no permanently standing water. Cattails spread rapidly because their seeds blow in the wind and float on the water's surface and vegetatively they spread from underground rhizomes.
Cattails are hardest in zones 3-11. They usually bloom in late summer. Cattails are common all over the United States. In the fall the brown flowers turn to white fluff as the seeds begin to disperse.
Cattails Control Options
Cattail can be cut and removed but is difficult to control physically because it can re-establish from seeds and rhizomes.
The active ingredients that have been successful in treating cattails include glyphosate (G), imazapyr (E) E =excellent, G = good
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Products to Control Cattails
GullWing contains the active ingredient, imazapyr, which inhibits the plant enzyme AHAS (acetohydroxyaced synthase). Habitat is a systemic herbicide that is effective on post-emergent floating and emergent aquatic vegetation. Imazapyr is effective at low-volume rates and does not contain heavy metals, organochlorides or phosphates, making it safe to humans and livestock. GullWing requires the use of a spray adjuvant when applying on post-emergent vegetation.
Avocet is a glyphosate formulation that has been effective on water hyacinth. These are broad spectrum, systemic herbicides. Systemic herbicides are absorbed and move within the plant to the site of action. Systemic herbicides tend to act more slowly than contact herbicides. An aquatically registered surfactant (see the label) will have to be added to the glyphosate solution for good results.
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