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Cladium P.Browne

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Genus Parent: Cyperaceae Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • SAW-GRASS - English, United States of America
  • TWIG-RUSH - English, United States of America
  • SWAMP SAW-GRASS - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Diagnosis: Rhizomatous perennials; culms obtusely trigonous; leaves cauline, with well-developed blades; leaf sheaths loose; ligules absent; inflorescences cymosely branched, with numerous spikelets usually in groups of 210 at the ends of short branches, leafy-bracted; spikelets with a single achene-bearing fertile floret subtended by a second floret with an aborted pistil, as well as ca. 25 empty scales (these lacking achenes but sometimes with an aborted pistil or stamens); scales of spikelets spirally imbricate; stamens 2; stigmas 3; perianth bristles absent; achenes terete, without tubercles.


Notes: AA genus of 34 species, in both the Old and New worlds (Mabberley 1997; Tucker 2002c). Cladium mariscus, sometimes called ELK SEDGE, was previously used for thatching in Great Britain (Mabberley 1997), and its culms and leaves are used in making paper products in the Danube Delta, Romania (Tucker 2002c). Cladium species superficially resemble some Rhynchospora taxa but can be easily distinguished by the lack of tubercles on the achenes. (Greek cladion, a branchlet, from the repeatedly branched inflorescence of the first named species)