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Pontederia cordata

 Spartina alterniflora


Herbaceous Perennial  


Spartina alterniflora   


Important, salt tolerant grass of the intertidal zone. known for its ability to   

control. erosion and build shore lines. The workhorse of the living shorelines.   


HABITAT   A perennial, deciduous grass found in tidal, salt and brackish marshes. It   

grows in the upper 50% of the intertidal zone and forms large dense colonies.   

CHARACTERISTICS   A tough plant with hollow stems 4-7' tall. Long green leaves are sharply tapered and bend down at their tips  .  Inflorescence is a large panicle bearing flowers and seeds on only one side of the stalk. Flowering period is from August through September.     



 Spartina patens



Herbaceous Perennial  


Spartina patens  


A graceful salt tolerant grass found just above the mean high tide level  


HABITAT Found in the high marsh zone above mean high tide. Spartina patens or Salt Marsh hay as it is sometimes called  

forms large mats of foliage and is important as a buffer against shore line erosion and flooding.  

CHARACTERISTICS Slender, wiry leaves that recurve down toward the base giving a graceful, hay like appearance.  

Plants stand 1-3' in height. . Inflorescence is a panicle bearing flowers and seeds on only  

one side of the stalk. Flowering period is from late June into October  




spartina pectinata



Herbaceous Perennial 


Spartina pectinata 

prairie cordgrass 

An aggressive sod-forming grass whose root system provides erosion control; provides food for waterfowl and songbirds, and a habitat for muskrats. 

indicator   stutus           OBL           

habitat   Sandy shores and alluvial flats; pH 6.0-8.5. 

characteristics   A warm season species that spreads by rhizomes; grows to 7’ tall; 18” minimum root depth; full sun; low drought tolerance; no salt tolerance; blooms from July to August. 


Sporobolus heterolepis


Herbaceous Perennial  


Sporobolus heterolepis  

prairie dropseed  

A decorative fine-textured species; provides food and cover for wildlife.  

indicator   status            UPL             

habitat    Dry, open ground; pH 6.0-7.2.  

characteristics    A short warm season bunch grass; grows to 3’ tall; 12” minimum root depth; moderate shade tolerance; moderate drought tolerance; no salt tolerance; blooms from August to September  


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OBL       Obligate wetland species
UPL       Upland species
FACW    Facultative wetland species
NO         No occurrence
FAC      Facultative species
NI         No indicator
FACU    Facultative upland species

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