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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #11527)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Spartina patens
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Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat and Range

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

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Spartina patens var. juncea (Michx.) Hitchc.
Spartina patens var. monogyna (M.A. Curtis) Fernald