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

Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl.
salt meadowgrass (saltmeadow cordgrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #11527)

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Distribution of Spartina patens
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Species Information

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Perennial grass from long rhizomes; stems slender, stiff, numerous, 30-100 cm tall.
Sheaths open; blades in-rolled or flat at base, 1-3 mm wide; ligules blunt, finely hairy, less than 1 mm long.
Inflorescence of 3 to 6, ascending to spreading, densely graduated spikes, 2-5 cm long, spikelets 1-flowered, in two rows on one side of the axis; glumes 1-nerved, unequal, the lower ones linear, 2.5-4 mm long, rough on the keels, short-awned, the upper ones narrowly lanceolate, rough below on the keels, long-pointed or almost awl-tipped, 7.5-13 mm long; lemmas firm, obscurely nerved, keeled, rough on the keels, rounded, awnless, 5-7 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Salt marshes in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC, known only from Comox and Vancouver; introduced from E North America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Spartina patens var. juncea (Michx.) Hitchc.
Spartina patens var. monogyna (M.A. Curtis) Fernald

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References