Spartina patens



Family: Poaceae (Grass).

Other Common Names: Salt meadowgrass, saltmeadow cordgrass.

Origin: Atlantic Coast of North America.

Growth Form/Reproduction: Perennial grass. Seeds, rhizomes and vegetative fragmentation.

Legal Status: None.

Impacts:Spartina_patens_closeup_-_Courtenay_estuaryAgricultural: None known.
Ecological: Can forms dense monocultures and has the potential to displace native vegetation in coastal salt marshes.
Human: Information not available.

Habitat: Open exposed sites. Well adapted to sandy-clay soils and tolerates occasional inundations by storm tides. Primarily a plant of the upper salt marsh tidal zone; also can colonize sand dunes, sand flats and coastal scrublands.

Status and Distribution: Rare in southwestern BC, known only at Port Moody and on Vancouver Island at Comox estuary spreading into Baynes Sound.

Management Strategy: Eradicate new or small populations. Seedlings can be hand-pulled. Excavate established plants being including all rhizomes. Scattered plants can be killed by burning with a hand-held propane torch. Repeated mowing will contain growth, limit seed set and eventually kill established clones. Mowing must start at green up, continue until plants die back in fall, and must be continued 3 to 4 years. Small clones can be eradicated by mowing followed by covering with woven fabric. Fabric must extend at least one meter beyond the edge of the clone and must be left in place for 1 to 2 growing seasons. Combinations imazapyr or glyphosate with surfactants has been used in the United States to eradicate or control larger populations with variable success. No biocontrol agents are presently available.

Additional Links:

Spartina ID Cards– BC Spartina Working Group

Spartina Mapping – Community Mapping Network

Spartina Wallet ID Card – Spartina Working Group

Weed Bulletin – Spartina Working Group

Washington State Department of Ecology