Saltmeadow Cordgrass

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Project Description

Saltmeadow Cordgrass

Spartina patens

 

Range/Geographical Distribution: Along the east and west coasts of the United States and Canada.  Also found along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Habitat: Saltmarshes and sandy meadows. 

Description: A wiry grass with long stems and 1/8th inch wide, rolled leaves.  Green in summer and light brown in winter. 

Size: Usually less than 40 inches tall.

Breeding: Flowers from June to October and produces wheat-like fruits on only one side of the stalk.

Predators/Ecological Importance: Saltmeadow cordgrass acts as a pollution filter and helps buffer the shoreline against flooding and erosion.

Conservation Status: Saltmeadow cordgrass is listed as an invasive species on the west coast including Washington, Oregon, and California.

Interesting Facts: Like some other plants adapted to live in a saline environment, cordgrass has specialized cells in the roots that exclude salt and prevent the loss of fresh water. 

On the Coast: Saltmeadow cordgrass can be seen in large stands along the high marsh of Georgia’s coast.

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