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Search Term(s): Spartina alterniflora   (1 record found)

Grass Family
Spartina alterniflora  (salt marsh cordgrass)   
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Carex Section
Meaning of Scientific Name
Spartina: from the Greek meaning "a cord" made from this grass; alterniflora: alternating flowers
Native Plant
Life Form
Perennial Grass
Phenology (Flowering Period)
Physiographic Province
☐ Piedmont
☑ Coastal Plain

County Distribution
☑ New Castle
☑ Kent
☑ Sussex

Salt marshes
State Status
Piedmont Status
Coastal Plain Status
Global Rank
Federal Status
Geographic Affinity
Species at Limit of Distribution
☐ Northern
☐ Southern

North American Distribution (Non-indigenous Species)
Coefficient of Conservatism
Invasive Watchlist
Global Origin (Non-native Species)
Wildlife Values
Provides nest sites, food and cover for Clapper Rail, Black Rail, Marsh Wren, Sedge Wren, Seaside Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sharp-Tailed Sparrow, Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrow, American Bittern and the Least Bittern, and also provides cover for Diamondback Terrapins. In addition, S. cynosuroides is the host plant for Problema bulenta, the Rare Skipper.
Wetland Indicator Status
Medicinal Properties
ID Notes
Additional Info
Saltmarsh cord grass has two markedly different growth forms. The tall form can be 2-3 m in height and the short form from 10-40 cm in height. These height differences are likely due to a variety of environmental factors, related to salinity levels, available nutrients and drainage. Low nutrient levels, high salinity levels and poor drainage, usually result in short form plants.
Habitats in which this plant occurs
Brackish Tidal Herbaceous Wetlands
Tidal Salt Water Low Marshes