Cladium jamaicense Crantz
Common Names: Saw Grass
Formerly: Cladium mariscus
Habit: Cladium jamaicense grows as a clumping herb to 3 meters in height (typically 1.5 meters) that produces rhizomes. The leaves are arranged alternately, parallel-veined, to 150 cm in length, and have sharp saw toothed margins.
The actinomorphic flowers are arranged in panicle. The individual flowers are arranged in spikelets of which there are 2-6 grouped at the ends of the inflorescence branches. The spikelets are subtended by 2-3 scales. The lower flowers in each spikelet are infertile. There is no calyx or corolla. There are 2 stamens. The ovary is superior with a single locule. The fruit is a brown achene at maturity.
Habitat: Cladium jamaicense grows along the edges of fresh water wetlands, in Sabal palmetto woodlands and in mangrove areas that are only slightly brackish.
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Cladium jamaicense occurs on all island groupings in the Bahamian Archipelago as well as the southern United States, the entire Caribbean region and Mexico
Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: None known.