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Encyclopedia > Sawgrass

Sawgrass (or saw-grass) is a sedge (not a true grass), belonging to the Genus Cladium. World-wide there are 4 species of Cladium found in tropical and warm temperate regions of Eurasia, the Pacific islands, and the New World. These are plants characterized by long, narrow (grass-like) leaves having sharp, serrated (sawtooth-like) margins. Although saw-grasses are common throughout the tropics, one typical and well-known area of extensive saw-grass growth is the Florida Everglades; saw-grass is the plant referred to by the descriptor, "River of Grass".


Cladium jamaicense

Across the Everglades, saw-grass (C. jamaicense Crantz) occurs in patches of dense growth surrounded by areas of very sparse growth. Because of the sharp, saw-like serrulations on the blades, dense beds of saw-grass can be dangerous to attempt to navigate through (the blades easily cut flesh). Consequently, the dense saw-grass beds harbor little animal life, but (in the Everglades) are the habitat used by alligators to build nests (Lodge, 1994).


This species is considered to be indigenous as well to the Hawaiian Islands, where it dominates a considerable portion of the largest marsh in Hawai‘i: Kawai Nui Marsh.


References

  • Lodge, Thomas E. 1994. The Everglades Handbook. Understanding the Ecosystem. St. Lucie Press, DelRay Beach, Fl. 228 p. ISBN 18840150609

Sawgrass is also a famous United States golf course in Ponte Vedra, Florida, east of Jacksonville and north of Orlando. It hosts The Player's Championship.



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