Bulrush

Typha capensis

Papkuil (Afr.)

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A perennial aquatic plant with flower spikes that are velvety brown and leaves that are long and strap-like that are up to 1.5m in length. Flowering during Summer and seeds are wind and water dispersed. Some regard the plant as a pest (invader) due to it's fast growing nature and easy germination from wind born-seed. It has strong lateral roots from rhizomes that can tolerate full submergence in water and drought conditions. Provides shelter for frogs and other aquatic life. Used as a traditional medicine for treating venereal diseases, during pregnancy, to improve circulation, for diarrhoea and dysentery. The rhizomes and pollen can be eaten by humans and leaves in weaving of hand brooms and thatching. The flowers can be dipped in kerosene for torches. The plant is also used in water purification. Uses: Used in weaving, a food source and has traditional medicinal uses. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Summer

Harvesting

Roots can be harvested and dried to make a powder/flour as a carbohydrate.

Propagation

Seed

Sow seeds in Autumn very shallow in moist soil.

Rhizomes

Break a piece of rhizome off to replant in a new location.

Special features

Attracts birds

Wet sites

Special features

Origin

Southern Africa

Natural climate

Coastal and inland wetlands (Cosmopolitan)

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Wet

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Edible

Roots can be harvested and dried to make a powder/flour as a carbohydrate.

Notes

Used in weaving, a food source and has traditional medicinal uses.

Personality

Family

Typhaceae

Flower colour

Yellow, Brown

Scent

None

Problems

Problem free

Companion plants

Wachendorfia thyrsiflora, Nymphaea sp., Cyperus sp.

Credits

profile iconTypha capensis
by Werner Voigt, Harold Porter NBG, August 2007 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

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