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Great Fen-sedge

Scientific name: Cladium mariscus
A tall and robust species of sedge, the Great Fen-sedge has long leaves with sawtooth edges. It forms dense stands in lowland fens and around lakes.

Species information


Height: up to 2.5m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Also known as 'Saw-sedge', Great Fen-sedge is a tall and stout plant, with long, sawtooth-edged leaves. It forms dense stands in lowland fens and around the margins of lakes. It is especially common in East Anglia where it was cut for thatching material because it was more flexible and durable than reed.

How to identify

Great Fen-sedge has long, narrow, blade-like leaves with serrated edges. A tall, clump-forming plant, it produces flower heads with clusters of brown spikelets (containing the flowers).


Widespread, but particularly common in Eastern England.

Did you know?

Originally, Great Fen-sedge was simply known as 'Sedge' - a name which came from the fens of East Anglia. However, botanists decided to use the word to describe a whole family of related plants (Cyperaceae) which are now commonly called sedges.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.