Spring to Fall
Cattails shed a great deal of pollen, and may be allergenic to some people. However, exposure is not typically great enough to be a significant source of allergy to the general public.
Cattails are about 6.6 feet high, with a round stem and long flat leaves. They are well known by their unisexual flowers borne above the leaves. The male flowers (sources of pollen) are located above the female flowers in long, dense, brown structures with a "fuzzy" appearance. The family only contains the genus Typha and the plants are commonly found growing in shallow freshwater areas.
Cattail pollen grains are either single (Typha angustifolia) or united in tetrads (Typha latifolia). The grains are 1-porate and the pores are generally circular. The exine is reticulate.
Single grains are 20-26 micrometers and pollen grains in tetrads are 40-50 micrometers.
The shaded areas on the map indicates where the genus has been observed in the United States.
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