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Typhaceae


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(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.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.


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