Spartina alterniflora

Smooth cord grass

Native to Florida

Species Overview

Smooth cord grass is a native on the U.S. Atlantic coast (yellow in map below), but is considered to be a non-native invasive plant on the U.S. Pacific coast (green in map below). Smooth cord grass is a medium-large saltwater-loving is frequently found growing in tidal flats, salt marshes, and beaches nearly throughout Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). It blooms from summer to fall and occurs almost always (estimated probability 99%) under natural conditions in wetlands. Its roots are a favorite food of snow geese.

Species Characteristics

Smooth cord grass is a grass. stems stiffly erect, 3-5 ft. tall, smooth; leaf blades to 2 ft. long, to 5/8 in. wide, becoming folded at tip; ligules hairy;  sheaths smooth; inflorescence spike-like, to 16 in. long, having 5-20 spike-like branches to 5 in. long, branches pressed to the axis and overlapping; spikelets 10-40 on each inflorescence branch, flattened, smooth, pointed tips, in 2 rows, often twisting; flowers occur only on branch undersides.