Page author: Don Knoke
Spartina pectinata
freshwater cordgrass, prairie cordgrass

Distribution: Eastern Washington and Oregon, east to Newfoundland and North Carolina.

Habitat: Ditches, ponds, and fresh-water marshes.

Flowers: June - July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Sensitive in Washington (WANHP)


Strongly rhizomatous perennial, the culms 8-15 dm. tall, smooth and hollow.


Sheaths open, throat hairy only at the top; ligules 2-3 mm. long, composed chiefly of a fringe of fine, straight hairs; blades involute, at least 5 mm. broad at the base.


Inflorescence of several to many spikes, erect, not crowded, 4-9 cm. long, arranged in a raceme; spikelets 1-flowered, articulate below the glumes, borne in two rows on one side of the rachis, closely crowded; glumes scabrous, the first very narrow, about 6.5 mm. long including the awn tip, the second exceeding the floret, 8-9 mm. long exclusive of the stout awn 2-4 mm. long; lemma keeled, 1-nerved, about 8 mm. long, shorter than the delicate, 2-nerved palea.

Accepted Name:
Spartina pectinata Link
Publication: Jahrb. Gewächsk. 1(3): 92-93. 1820.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Spartina michauxiana Hitchc.
Spartina pectinata Link var. suttiei (Farw.) Fernald
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Spartina pectinata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Spartina pectinata checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Spartina pectinata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Spartina pectinata photos.

USDA Plants: Spartina pectinata information.

21 photographs:
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