Bolin, Kathryn E.
Spartina pectinata Bosc ex Link
Prairie cordgrass, Freshwater cordgrass, Sloughgrass
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Freshwater cord grass or prairie cord grass is a very rigid, upright perennial,
5-6 ft. tall, with tough leaves. Coarse, ascending spikelets of tan-colored seedheads are arranged spirally in two’s on the upper part of the stem
and are the main virtue of this grass. Fall color is an attractive yellow. A tall grass, with stiff, widely spaces flowering branches, the entire
flower culater reaching well above the leaves.
This is one of our tallest grasses and is probably the species that gave rise to Midwestern settlers’ accounts of grass higher than a horse’s back. Prairie Cordgrass is one of the dominants of the tallgrass prairie, growing mainly in low, wet areas. The species name derives from the Greek word pecten (“comb”), referring to the appearance of the plants flowering branches. Also known as Sloughgrass.
Image Gallery: 9 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun
AR , CO , CT , DE , ID , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MO , MT , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , WY , DC Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
Nf. & Que to e. WA & OR, s. to NC, TN, LA, TX & NM Native Habitat:
Fresh water & coastal marshes; prairie swales USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Wet to moist, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Prairie cordgrass spreads rapidly by rhizomes, and is best suited to large areas. It can become invasive.