Great Fen Sedge

Great Fen Sedge

Great Fen Sedge, Sawgrass or Twig Sedge - Cladium mariscus

The Great Fen Sedge belongs to the Cyperaceae Family; it is a perennial species, the robust, hollow stem reaching about 2 metres in height with base cylindrical and upper portion trigonal and bearing leaves as far as the tip.  It is anchored to the ground by means of a creeping rhizome.

The leaves, about the same length as the stem, can cut thanks to small rigid hooks along the margins and on the lower part of the central rib.  

The rusty coloured flowers are gathered in an inflorescence  made up of highly branched clusters;  the flowers are in full bloom from June to July.

The Great Fen Reed grows in peat bog habitats with shallow waters poor in nutrients and on muddy terrains subject to temporary flooding.

The species is dramatically falling in numbers;  in Tuscany it can still be found in some marshland areas, such as Lake Sibolla, where it grows in the sphagnum bogs, or at the Massaciuccoli Marshes where it covers wide areas.