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Marshhay cordgrass, Saltmeadow cordgrass
Spartina patens

Copyright by: George D. Gann

General Landscape Uses: Accent groundcover in coastal areas.

Availability: Widely cultivated.

Description: Medium herbaceous grass, first clumping then spreading from rhizomes.

Dimensions: Typically 2-3 feet in height; to 4 feet when in flower. Ultimately spreading and forming large, open or dense patches.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Widespread in North America south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico and Central America.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Coastal marshes and beach dunes.

Soils: Wet to moist, moderately well-drained to poorly-drained brackish or saline soils, with or without organic or humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Low to moderate; it can grow in nutrient poor soils or soils with some organic content.

Salt Water Tolerance: High; tolerates flooding by salt water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Frontline; grows in direct salt wind but away from constant salt spray.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Brownish inflorescence.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: Spring-fall; peak summer-fall.

Fruit: Inconspicuous light brown caryopsis.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed and division.

References: Nelson 2003

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Spartina patens available from:

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