Spartina alterniflora x S. foliosa

Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: smooth hybrid cordgrass

Spartina alterniflora (and S. alterniflora x foliosa hybrids) (smooth cordgrass) is a rhizomatous perennial grass (family Poaceae) found in salt marshes and mudflats in the San Francisco Estuary and associated waterways. Smooth cordgrass spreads more rapidly, grows more densely, and tolerates higher water levels than native California cordgrass (Spartina foliosa). The two cordgrasses are known to hybridize, a process which may threaten the survival of pure strains of California cordgrass. A single smooth cordgrass plant may spread clonally in concentric circles to become a dense circular patch of up to 20 meters in diameter. The invasive cordgrass does not provide suitable habitat for native salt marsh shorebirds.

Rating: High

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

Other Resources

Symposium Presentations

None for this species.

Cal-IPC News Articles