Cladium mariscus

Cladium mariscus is a species of flowering plant in the sedge family known by the common names swamp sawgrass,[1] great fen-sedge,[2] saw-sedge or sawtooth sedge. Previously it was known as elk sedge.[3] It is native of temperate Europe and Asia where it grows in base-rich boggy areas and lakesides. It can be up to 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) tall, and has leaves with hard serrated edges.[4] In the past, it was an important material to build thatched roofs; harvesting it was an arduous task due to its sharp edges that can cause deep lacerations.[5]

Cladium mariscus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Cladium
C. mariscus
Binomial name
Cladium mariscus
  • Schoenus mariscus L.


  • C. m. californicum (S.Watson) Govaerts - California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Texas, Sonora, Coahuila
  • C. m. intermedium Kük. - Australia, New Caledonia
  • C. m. jamaicense (Crantz) Kük. - Latin America from Mexico to Argentina; West Indies; southeastern United States from Texas to Delaware; naturalized in tropical Africa and on many oceanic islands including Canary Islands, Madagascar, New Guinea, Hawaii
  • C. m. mariscus - Europe, northern Asia and North Africa from Ireland and Morocco to Japan, including Germany, Italy, France, Scandinavia, Poland, Balkans, Ukraine, Russia, Siberia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Himalayas, Kazakhstan, China, Korea


  1. "Cladium mariscus". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  2. "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. "Cladium mariscus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved April 27, 2011.
  4. Theocharopoulos, Michael; Georgiadis, Theodoros; Dimitrellos, Georgios; Chochliouros, Stergios; Tiniakou, Argyro (2006). "Vegetation types with Cladium mariscus (Cyperaceae) in Greece" (PDF). Willdenowia. 36 (Special Issue): 247–256. doi:10.3372/wi.36.36120.
  5. Thew Worst Rural Jobs in History, Channel 4, 2006

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