Typha x provincialis

Typha xprovincialis A. Camus (= T. domingensis Pers. x T. latifolia) (Hybr.) – An exceptional but apparently more or less established alien of uncertain provenance. Discovered in 2012 on the banks of the canal Kortrijk-Bossuit near Kortrijk (scattered individuals).

This part of the canal is highly affected by human activities (water sports, fishing, etc.) and aquatic ornamentals have been introduced in the past (Nuphar, Nymphaea). However, to our knowledge neither Typha domingensis, nor its hybrid with native T. latifolia are cultivated as ornamentals in western Europe. Yet, T. xprovincialis most likely is an escaped ornamental in Kortrijk. It seems rather hardy, at least much more than T. domingensis, a species that is originally confined to warm-temperate and subtropical areas of the world.

Typha xprovincialis is readily distinguished from all other representatives of this genus in Belgium by the pale brown mature female spikes and the presence of numerous mucilaginous glands on leaves and sheaths (both characters derived from T. domingensis). From the latter it differs in being sterile and in having female flowers with fewer scales that are narrower than the stigmas. Like T. xglauca it grows often taller and coarser than either parent.

This hybrid seems to be rare, even in areas where both parents grow sympatrically (Galen Smith 2000) although it may well be overlooked. Indeed, Spencer & Vincent (2013) claim that hybrids (including T. xprovincialis) are not uncommon where-ever cat-tail species intersect.

Selected literature:

Galen Smith S. (2000) Typhaceae. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (eds.), Flora of North America, vol. 22. Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford: 278-285. [available online at: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=134063]

Jauzein P. (1990) Le genre Typha en Corse. Candollea 45: 314-334.

Spencer J.M. & Vincent M.A. (2013) Southern cat-tail (Typha domingensis, Typhaceae) discovered in Ohio. Phytoneuron 2013-22: 1-5. [available online at: http://www.phytoneuron.net/2013Phytoneuron/22PhytoN-TyphadomingOhio.pdf]

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith