Cladium jamaicense

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Plant Specifics

Size:3-6 (10) ft tall by wide-spreading ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Green
Fruit Color:Brown
Noted for:-


Recommended Uses:Typically used in wetland restoration. Also useful for planting in brackish settings where an emergent aquatic is desired. Spreads rapidly to cover large areas.
Considerations:Blades have sharp edges...hence the common name. Best planted where people will not brush by it.
Propagation:Division, seed.
Availability:Native nurseries, Seed, Specialty providers
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Tolerant of inundation with brackish water
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:High. Can tolerate significant and ongoing amounts of salty wind and salt spray without injury.
Soil or other substrate:Clay, Loam, Organic material (muck), Lime rock, Sand
Soil pH:



Larval host of the Palatka skipper (Euphyes pilatka).

Native Habitats:Swamps, marshes, shores of water bodies, common in coastal marsh, glades, cypress prairie.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

Sawgrass is a sedge, not a grass. It was this plant that Marjory Stoneman Douglas referred to in her seminal work: "The Everglades: River of Grass."

A second species (C. mariscoides) occurs in a limited area in north Florida.  Its uses and culture are similar.