Spartina patens

Spartina patens_salt meadow cordgrass_ JM Di Tomaso
Photo: Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Spartina versicolor (Spain)

Common names: salt marsh hay

Spartina patens (saltmeadow cordgrass) is a perennial grass (family Poaceae) whose current known distribution in California is limited to one location in the saltmarshes of the northwestern San Francisco Bay area near Corte Madera. Saltmeadow cordgrass is native to the southeastern United States, and is listed as a noxious weed in Washington state. Like other cordgrasses, saltmeadow cordgrass reproduces both by seed and vegetatively, with rhizomes. Even small fragments of rhizomes can resprout to form new plants. Although the invasion of saltmeadow cordgrass has only had minor impacts in California, it has the potential to spread and has been shown to cause significant impacts in other locations.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited?

CDFA Rating: -*?


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.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Spartina patens Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Spartina patens_leaf blade and sheath_SteveMatson
    Spartina patens (salt marsh hay) leaf blade and sheath. Photo: Steve Matson
    Spartina patens_inflorescence_SteveMatson
    Spartina patens (salt marsh hay) inflorescence. Photo: Steve Matson
    Spartina patens_florets_SteveMatson
    Spartina patens (salt marsh hay) florets. Photo: Steve Matson