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Greater Reedmace (Typha latifolia)

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This plant rises from thick underground roots in swampy areas across Britain (particularly in the South). The plant has narrow straight sided leaves. The brown female flower head (shown) is about 15cm or more long. It flowers June to July, producing thousands of tightly packed flowers, the male flowerhead is borne above the female and is absent here. The fruit is single seeded with a surrounding parachute of long hairs. In the past, the fluffy seeds were used to stuff mattresses. The leaves were woven into baskets and, being waterproof, were also used to make reed boats. This picture was taken in late January at Felmersham, Bedfordshire. The fluffy seeds can clearly be seen.

Added:
29th Jan 2006 by Diane Earl

Subjects:
Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Keywords:
plant seeds aquatic wildlife

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