Spartina alterniflora

Photo Courtesy of Herbarium Photographer

Common Name(s) Saltmarsh Cordgrass
Scientific Name Spartina alterniflora
Family Poaceae
Location/Vegetative Zone Salt marsh
Flowering Period August, also July-September
Identifying Characteristics Pound plentifully in salt marshes; found in tall or short varieties; 4-6 ft high with flowers


  • Tall version found in areas of tidal flooding
  • Short form in higher levels of marsh
  • Tall form has flowering head
  • Known for hardiness, tolerates salt water inundation


Cultural Uses

  • Important for fauna, incl. blue crab
  • Nursery for finfish
  • Buffers shoreline erosion


“Smooth Cordgrass Spartina alterniflora“. Chesapeake Bay Program. Web.

Spartina alterniflora Loisel. smooth cordgrass”. Plants. USDA NRCS. Web.

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