Sedges (Cyperus vaginatus or gymnocaulos)
Common name: Stiff-leaf Sedge, Stiff-leaf Flat Sedge, Spiny Flat Sedge
Taxonomic name: Stiff-leaf Sedge Cyperus vaginatus, Spiny Flat Sedge C. gymnocaulos
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.
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!