Marshhay cordgrass

Spartina patens

Family Poaceae - emergent vegetation

Emergent vegetation, grass; found above intertidal zone, forms dense bunches; leaves long and very narrow, about 1 mm (<1/4 in), usually curled inward, flexible; main stem with alternate branching leaves; several stems per root; inflorescence (flower part) has several alternating spikes (panicle) at top of stem, emerging at about a 45 degree angle; plants usually found in bunched together, but spreading as a meadow.
Similar Species
Of the 3 cordgrasses, the smooth cordgrass is the only one found in the intertidal zone. The smooth and gulf cordgrasses have a single spike for its inflorescence, whereas the marshhay cordgrass has 3-5 spikes set off at a 45° from the stem. The leaves of the smooth cordgrass are usually open and flat except in extremely dry conditions. The leaves of the marshhay and gulf cordgrasses are usually rolled inward. Also the leaves of the gulf cordgrasses are stiff and very pointy.
Saltwater marshes above intertidal zone
Maximum Size
120 cm (4 ft)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names




Untitled Document