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Distichlis spicata

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Plant types and subtypes: Grasses, Wetland Grasses, Prairie Grasses

Light Requirements: sun

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist, wet

Soil Description: alkaline, clay, sand

Height: 8"-16"

Bloom Time: June, July, August, September, October

Bloom Color: yellow

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Additional Tags: attracts birds, attracts butterflies, clumping, colonizing, drought tolerant, emergent, mat-forming, medicinal, naturalizing, salt tolerant, swamp plant, wetland plant

Distichlis spicata (saltgrass)
  • Distichlis spicata (saltgrass)
  • Distichlis spicata (saltgrass)
  • Distichlis spicata (saltgrass)
  • Distichlis spicata (saltgrass)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Distichlis spicata

Also known as:

saltgrass

,

spike grass

,

inland saltgrass

,

seashore saltgrass

,

spike grass

,

alkali grass

,

coastal saltgrass

Scientific Synonyms:

Distichlis stricta, Uniola spicata

Description

Distichlis spicata is a low growing grass, with green, erect blades that rarely grow longer than 16".

Cultivation

Distichlis spicata is a bit of an oddball species: it is a wetland grass, yet is also found extensively in inland prairies, and is also drought resistant. It is used very effectively for wetland restoration and stabilization, where its high resistance to salt, rapid growth, and tolerance to regular or tidal inundation, make it a valuable asset. It also does well in dryer, sandy soil and can tolerate high alkalinity. Blooms June to October. Zones 2-10

Propagation

Propagate from seed or by division.

Additional Notes

The versatility of this grass also makes it a potentially invasive species. Please consult with an agricultural or weed specialist before planting. Saltgrass is used in the pharmaceutical industry to produce respiratory allergenic drugs.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Extirpated: PA

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Commelinidae
Order Cyperales
Family Poaceae Grass family
Genus Distichlis saltgrass
Species Distichlis spicata saltgrass