Sedges (Cyperus vaginatus or gymnocaulos)

Cyperus plants love wet feet.
Cyperus plants love wet feet!

Common name: Stiff-leaf Sedge, Stiff-leaf Flat Sedge, Spiny Flat Sedge

Taxonomic name: Stiff-leaf Sedge Cyperus vaginatus, Spiny Flat Sedge C. gymnocaulos

FamiIy: Cyperaceae

Habitat: Wetlands, creek banks

Form: Clumping, grass-like

Flowering Time: C. gymnocaulos: July-April, C. vaginatus: November -April

Ngarrindjeri name: Marrngatoo

Description and uses:

Sedges of the Cyperus genus , especially Stiff-leaf Sedge (C. vaginatus) and Spiny Flat Sedge (C. gymnocaulus) are water loving Sedges that are favoured by the Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna folk for weaving.

Aunty Ellen & Jelina gathering rushes
Aunty Ellen & Jelina gathering rushes

When dried and re-wetted (is that a word?), the stems pride a strong, flexible fibre for weaving. I’ve seen all sorts of things, both traditional and contemporary, woven by skilled weavers from fish scoops to a life sized baby whale!

Jelina is happiest when weaving
Jelina has learned a lot from Aunty Ellen Trevorrow

The flowers are interesting little things too.
The flowers are interesting little things too.