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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

Spartina Schreb. -- Cordgrass

Coarse perennials spreading by long scaly rhizomes; culms stout and erect, tough. Leaves flat to involute, tough, scabrous; sheaths glabrous; ligule comprised of hairs. Inflorescence of several to many 1-sided spikes arranged in a terminal raceme, the spikes ascending to appressed; spikelets 1-flowered, strongly compressed and overlapping in 2 rows on one side of the rachis, disarticulating below the glumes; glumes unequal, flattened, hispid or scabrous on the keel, the first glume linear, shorter than the lemma, 1-nerved, the second glume narrowly lanceolate, exceeding the lemma, 1- or 2-nerved along the keel; lemma flattened, lanceolate, weakly hispid or scabrous on the keel, with one strong midvein and 2 obscure lateral ones; palea flattened, often slightly longer than the lemma, very obscurely 2-nerved. Grain golden brown, narrowly oblong and compressed, 4-6 mm long.

Lead Characteristic Go To
1 Second glume acute to mucronate; leaves usually involute, 2-5 mm wide when flattened; plants mostly 3-8 dm tall. S. gracilis
1 Second glume awned, the awn 2-10 mm long; leaves flat to involute, 3-13 mm wide when flattened; plants mostly 7-18 dm tall. S. pectinata

63. Poaceae, the Grass Family
27. Spartina Schreb. -- Cordgrass
1. Spartina gracilis Trin. -- Alkali cordgrass
2. Spartina pectinata Link -- Prairie cordgrass

Return to Family -- Poaceae - The Grass Family
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