E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Spartina gracilis Trin.
alkali cordgrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #84170)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Spartina gracilis
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Species Information

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Perennial grass from rhizomes; stems 30-60 (100) cm tall.
Sheaths open; blades in-rolled, usually not over 5 mm wide at the base; ligules blunt, finely hairy, less than 1 mm long.
Inflorescence of 4 to 8, appressed spikes, 2-4 cm long; spikelets 1-flowered, in 2 rows on one side of axis; glumes narrowly lanceolate, 1-nerved, unequal, with long, fine hairs on the keels, the lower ones about 5-6 mm long, shorter than the florets, long-pointed to awn-tipped, the upper ones 2-3 mm longer, slightly exceeding the florets, more rounded; lemmas firm, obscurely nerved, keeled, fringed with fine hairs on the keels, awnless, 6.5-8.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Marshes, wet ditches and meadows to dry (often alkaline) areas in the steppe and montane zones; infrequent in SC and SE BC, rare in NE BC; N to NT, E to MB and S to MN, KS, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Spartina gracilis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 580 874 1100
Slope Gradient (%) 0 3 20
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
26 73 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 5 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(6), IDF(16), PP(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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