Grass-like perennial forb to 4.5m tall. Leaves in 2 rows up the stem, with a sheath at the base, 100-200cm long, 6-30mm wide, flat, hairless. Male and female flowers on the same plant. Individual flowers small (less than 3mm across), brown, with 0 petals, in cylindrical spikes, the upper spike consisting of male flowers, and the lower spike of female flowers.
Difficult to distinguish from Typha domingensis. Differs from Typha domingensis in that the leaves are broader (up to 30mm wide) and the mature female spikes are 10-40mm in diameter. Accurate differentiation between the two species requires microscopic examination of female flowers.
Description in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales page 37