Scientific name:  Spartina


Physical Characteristics


  • Sharp
  • Spine-like


  • Loose
  • Branching
  • Clustered


  • Hollow stems
  • Up to 8 feet tall
  • Clustered
  • Creeping rhizomes


Where Does it Grow?

Cordgrass can be found in marshes, swamps and coastal prairies.


Is it Invasive?

Although some species of cordgrass are native, they can be aggressive invaders. Cordgrass can form dense clusters up to 80 feet across.


Pros and Cons of Cordgrass

Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates.


USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database (, 28 March 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.


Information and photos courtesy of AquaPlant A Diagnostics Tool for Pond Plants and Algae.