Great Reedmace

Also known as:
Broadleaf Cattail, Common Cattail, Giant Reedmace
Africa, Eurasia, North and South America

General description

Perennial aquatic reed, < 3 m tall. Rhizomes form a thick mat. Leaves are wide, flat, stiff and pale grey/green. Flowers are borne in erect, sausage-shaped, dark brown/black inflorescences. Fruit is tufted and appears in early summer.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell great reedmace. As great reedmace is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant great reedmace within the Auckland region
Auckland Council will control great reedmace at all sites where it is known to occur.

If you see great reedmace anywhere in the Auckland region, please report it to Auckland Council at

Wetlands, water bodies and margins < 1 m deep.

Seeds dispersed by wind, water and animals. Vegetative spread from rhizomes. Human-mediated dispersal through contaminated machinery.

Forms dense thickets, suppressing native vegetation and altering flow regimes. Potential to directly compete or hybridise with threatened taonga species raupō.

Site Management

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species. Please report to Auckland Council.

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

Typha orientalis

T. latifolia has wider, flatter, paler greyish-green leaves, very dark brown to black erect flower spikes than the native raupo.

RPMP status

Whole region (Eradication)
National Pest Plant Accord Species
Great reedmace - Main species image