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Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene
Saltgrass, Coastal salt grass, Inland salt-grass
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Distichlis spicata ssp. stricta, Distichlis spicata var. borealis, Distichlis spicata var. divaricata, Distichlis spicata var. nana, Distichlis spicata var. stolonifera, Distichlis spicata var. stricta, Distichlis stricta, Distichlis stricta var. dentata, Uniola spicata
USDA Symbol: disp
This rigid, erect, warm-season grass forms dense colonies of dark-green, leafy stems, up to 3 ft. high. The seed head is short and made up of large, smooth spikelets. Coastal salt grass is a perennial.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
, WY Canada: NB
, PE Native Distribution:
Sask. to e. WA,
s. to TX
& CA Native Habitat:
Alkali flats; saline marshes
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Wet, saline or alkaline soils.
Conditions Comments: This species is useful for revegetating unusually saline, interior areas. Its extensive, creeping rhizomes enable it to colonize an area quickly. The grass adapts to drier soils including silts, clays, and even sands.
BenefitUse Food: Native
Americans obtained salt by eating globules adhering to saltgrass stems. Attracts:
Birds , Butterflies Larval Host:
Sandhill Skipper (Polites sabuleti)
PropagationDescription: Seed germination is limited.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Highest germination seems to come with 50 degree night and 105 degree day temperature regimes.
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
When to plant grasses on Long Island, NY
December 06, 2009
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants;
Are there any grass seeds that I can plant NOW, early December, on Long Island, NY? The planting environment is on and near a sandy bluff on a bayshore, where it can be windy ...
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2008-10-19
Research By: TWC Staff