Twig-rush

Cladium mariscoides                      

Common Name: Twig-rush; Smooth sawgrass

  • Grows in wet sand and can usually be found in bogs or areas of high alkaline.
  • Flowers sporadically from August to October.
  • It is seldom recognized, but fairly common.

Native or Invasive: Native perennial

Characteristics: A relatively large, coarse perennial sedge with narrow, grass-like leaves. The stem is stiff, round, and can reach up to 39 inches tall. They grow throughout the Great Lakes along alkaline shores. They grown inland also, in fens, wet meadows and sphagnum bogs, where their rhizomes give strength to floating mats of vegetation. They are frequently clonal (connected underground) with hundreds of plants forming an attractive mass.

Habitat: Wet sands and shallow water, especially in areas with high alkalinity or salinity.

Fun Fact: Twig-rush has an expansive range. It can be found from Nova Scotia to Florida and from Texas to Minnesota. It is faithful to high quality, undisturbed habitats.

Ethnobotanical Uses: The roots have been used to make small baskets and the stems were used to make tubes for medicine.

Adapted from Guide to Great Lakes Coastal Plants, by Ellen Elliott Weatherbee, University of Michigan Press.