Reedmace Typha latifolia

Status
Best Time to See
Colour
Habitat Wetland

The reedmace's brown, sausage-shaped seed heads are an iconic sight in wetland environments.

Its leaves are flattened and a greyish-green and grow in clumps from the base. 

Habitat

Ponds, streams, shallow water.

Best time to see

When it blooms July-August.

Did you know...

The reedmace is nowadays often called the bulrush. However, the true bulrush is actually another species entirely: Scirpus Lacustris.

There are many theories as to how the confusion came about. Often blamed is the Victorian artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, for included them in his painting Moses in the Bulrushes. This appears to be a folk-myth: Sir Lawrence doesn't appear to have produced a painting entitled Moses in the Bulrushes. He did paint The Finding of Moses but there is not a reedmace to be seen.

Around the same period, however, illustrations of this story were given away at Sunday schools. Some of these do indeed feature the distinctive sausage-shape of Typha latifolia. It may be that these - and not Sir Lawrence - are the original culprit!