Typha domingensis

Narrowleaf Cumbungi, Gumbung

Vigorous erect cane-like perennial herb spreading by underground stems. Terminal spike of male flowers above spike of female flowers on same stem. Plant remains green in winter.

Additional information

  • SynonymSeparated from Typha angustifolia
  • FamilyTyphaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size1-2 m x spreading
  • Plant groupingAquatic & Semi aquatic
  • LeavesGreen to yellowish-green strap leaves near the base of stem, to 2 m x 5-15 mm, leaf sheath at base of leaves, top 1-2 may have ear-shaped lobes. Leaves bi-convex in cross section.
  • Flower colourCinnamon-brown,
  • Flowering timeDecember to May
  • FlowersDense cylindrical spikes, male and female 2-5.5 cm apart. Female flowers numerous, broadly spoon-shaped bracts, stigma narrow, folded lengthwise, female spike 10-24 cm x 5-15 mm.
  • Bird attractingHabitat - nesting and/or safety
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatYes
  • Growing conditionsSemi-aquatic to aquatic, up to 1 m deep along edges of waterways and swamps. Full sun, semi-shade.
  • Garden useVery vigorous in wet areas, not tolerating drying out. Can be difficult to control unless roots are restricted.
  • Commercially availableNo information available
  • Conservation statusLocally common within its preferred growing conditions
  • Aboriginal Use Food - young shoots (raw), root (steamed, roasted); leaf - string (fibre), weaving
  • Related speciesVery similar to Typha orientalis, often growing together. Refer to sheet for specific differences - include distance between male & female spikes, size of female spike, bracts, stigma, sheaths. Typha latifolia - introduced species, dies down in winter. Female spike dark red-brown to black-brown, bracts absent, stigmas broad at tip, flat and fleshy; leaves almost flat in cross section.
Photographer/s: 1, 2, 5 Marilyn Bull ©; 3, 4 Peter Kinchington ©

Plant Communities

  • 12 Manna Gum Riparian Forest - Dandenongs (EVC 18)
  • 39 Sedge Wetland Complex (EVC 136)
  • 47 Open Water - Reservoirs, lakes, etc (EVC 718)
  • 35 Floodplain Wetland Complex (EVC 172)
  • 34 Manna Gum Floodplain Riparian Woodland (EVC 56)
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