Grass Family (Poaceae). Sand cordgrass is a warm season, robust bunch grass, native to the U.S. The height ranges from 3 to 5 feet. Leaf blade is flat and rolls inward when drying; 1/4 inch wide; upper surface is dark green, lower light green and coarse ridges on upper surface. Leaf sheath is rounded. Seedhead has 5 to 12 spikes, each 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches long, lying close to stem; spikelets grow on one side of rachis and seedhead 2 to 8 inches long.
This grass increases on ranges that are grazed continuously.
Makes its major growth during spring. Seeds form during late May and June in most ranges, later in the northern parts. Vegetative growth continues until fall. Some basal leaves remain green during winter in south Florida. Mature plants often form bunches 18 to 20 inches in diameter. Adapted to margins of sand ponds and fresh marshes throughout range. During growing season, tolerates periodic flooding. Will not grow on saline soils.
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Catalog Number: US 81737
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of alleged type specimen
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. H. Baker
Year Collected: 1898
Locality: Near Tangarene [Tangerine?]., Florida, United States, North America
- Isotype: Merrill, G. M. 1902. U.S.D.A. Bur. Pl. Industr. Bull. 9: 14.
Depth range (m): 1.5 - 1.5
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National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.
Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)
Please contact your local NRCS Field Office.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Sand cordgrass, burned in early fall, provides fair quality grazing for cattle during winter and spring. It is tough and unpalatable during summer months.
Spartina bakeri is a species of grass known by the common names sand cordgrass and bunch cordgrass. It is native to the southeastern United States, where it grows along the coast and in inland freshwater habitat in Florida.
This species forms dense bunches up to 20 feet wide with stems up to 4 feet tall. The wiry leaves are light green on the undersides and darker on top. During winter the plant is more brown than during summer, when it is brownish-green.
This grass grows in aquatic and semiaquatic habitat, including beaches, ponds, and more upland sites. It may be used to control erosion and can tolerate flooding. It can be grown as an ornamental.
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