Typha latifolia, Common Cattail, Giant reed-mace,
Hebrew: סוף רחב-עלים, Arabic: البوط عريض الأوراق

Scientific name:  Typha latifolia L.
Common name:  Common Cattail, Giant reed-mace
Hebrew name:  סוף רחב-עלים
Arabic name:  البوط عريض الأوراق
Family:  Typhaceae, סופיים

Typha latifolia, Common Cattail, Giant reed-mace, البوط عريض الأوراق,סוף רחב-עלים
Location: Netanya, the Dora rain pool

Life form:   helophyte
Stems:  Up to 2.5 m in height; erect, stout, unbranched and reed-like
Leaves:  Alternate, rosette, sheath-like leaf, entire, smooth
Flowers:  Terminal, cylindrical, inflorescence in busby-like flowering head = Spadix; female pale green flowers, which produce seeds, are situated towards the bottom of the spadix, the male flowers are located towards the top; male and female regions of the spadix are touching; female flowers tiny, 2-3mm long when in flower, 10-15mm long when in fruit; male flowers, brown, minute, >1.3cm long, thickly clustered, anthers 1-3mm long.
Fruits / pods:  Fruit a tiny, tufted nutlet, blackish brown or reddish brown; seed, minute, numerous.
Flowering Period:  Summer
Habitat:   Humid habitats
Distribution:   Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands
Chorotype:   Plurireginalbor-trop
Summer shedding:  Perennating

Typha latifolia, Common Cattail, Giant reed-mace, סוף רחב-עלים
Location: Netanya, the Dora rain pool

Derivation of the botanical name:
Typha, typhos (Greek), "marshes", a name that has been written for these plants since Theophrastus (372-287 BCE) called them tiphe (τὐφη) and Dioscorides (40-80 CE) wrote tiphes (τυφης). ”Typha is linguistically related to Typhon, typhoon, and typhus. These words link four concepts - monsters, storms, diseases, and plants.
Typhon, as the father of the Winds, causes dangerous storms. This deity’s name is cognate with “typhoon,” borrowed from the Arabic, Persian, and Urdu وافن tufân (to turn around), and still in use to describe violent cyclonic storms of the Indian Ocean.
latifolia, latus,"broad", and folius, "leaf"; hence, "broad leaf"
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
The Bible states: “And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him” (Mark 15:19, King James Version, translated 1604- 1611). The English came from the Latin Vulgate that was finished about 405. The Vulgate has: “et percutiebant caput eius harundine et conspuebant eum et ponentes genua adorabant eum.” Harundo, the basis of harundine, can mean reed, cane, fishing rod, limed twigs for catching birds, arrow shaft, or pipe. Strangely, the word harundo is not Latin but of Germanic derivation, having been taken from Old English hréod. Certainly, hréod gave rise to the modern English word “reed”. It is not known why Jerome (Latin: Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus; Greek: Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος, 347-419), who was born in what is now Croatia, used this word in the Hebrew to Latin translation. Biologists identify harundo as either Phragmites or Arundo (both Poaceae). Both Phragmites (Hebrew הנק kaneh) and Typha (Hebrew ףוס suf) grow in the area where the biblical events occurred, but either Jerome did not know the meaning of ףוס or did not know that it was Typha.
Because of the Hebrew or Vulgate reference, the Christians of the Middle Ages (500-1500) began using cat-tails in artwork. Typha appears as part of the scenery in the tapestries of unicorns; both plant and animal were allusions to Christ. Paintings by Flemish artist Sir Anthony Van Dyck of Jesus’ mock trial have him with a cat-tail in his hand as a scepter. Even Leonardo da Vinci included Typha.

Typha latifolia, Common Cattail, Giant reed-mace, סוף רחב-עלים
Location: Netanya, the Dora rain pool