Spartina anglica

Spartina anglica_common cordgrass_ JM Di Tomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: English cordgrass

Spartina anglica (common cordgrass) is a rhizomatous perennial grass (family Poaceae) found in salt marshes and mudflats in northern San Francisco Bay. Common cordgrass is a recently evolved species that was first described in the late 1800s. The new species resulted from the hybridization of smooth cordgrass (S. alterniflora) and small cordgrass (S. maritima) in England. Spartina anglica can transform tidal mudflats into drier, elevated meadows over time. This has not yet occurred in the infested site in the San Francisco Bay, where the species has been spreading slowly since its introduction in 1970.

Rating: Moderate

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.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • 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

  • USDA PLANTS database -
    Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
  • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
  • San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project - The Invasive Spartina Project is a coordinated regional effort among local, state and federal organizations dedicated to preserving California's extraordinary coastalbiological resources through the elimination of introduced species of Spartina (cordgrass).

Symposium Presentations

  • Ayres, D. R., D. L. Smith, et al. (2002). Spread of exotic cordgrasses and hybrids (Spartina sp.) in the tidal marshes of San Francisco Bay. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2002. Sacramento, CA.
  • DiTomaso, J. M. (2005). Efficacy and safety of new herbicides on the horizon. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
  • DiGirolamo, L. (2006). Invasive species removal in an urban environment: Pitfalls and lessons learned. Cal-IPC Symposium. Rohnert Park, CA.
  • Grijalva, E. (2006). Spartina control in the San Francisco Estuary: Progress toward estuary-wide control and eradication. Cal-IPC Symposium. Rohnert Park, CA.
  • Jackson, N. E. (1996). Control of exotic weeds with Roundup herbicide: A survey of projects around the world. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium. San Diego, CA.
  • Smith, D., S. Klohr, et al. (2002). Introduced Spartina in San Francisco Bay: 2000-2001 Survey and Findings, San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2002. Sacramento, CA.

Cal-IPC News Articles