Intertidal Organisms EZ-ID GUIDES


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Distichlis spicata (Seashore saltgrass)

photo of seashore saltgrass
Copyright © 2006 Mary Jo Adams

Seashore saltgrass is a native species in the Pacific Northwest where it is found in salt marshes and along seashores.  This member of the grass family grows in dense patches to a height of 8 inches (20 cm.).  The leaves alternate on opposite sides of the stem to form two rows or ranks.  Flowering occurs from June to September with male and female flowers on separate plants.  Salt crystals are sometimes seen on the leaves and stems. Along the West Coast, this species ranges from Vancouver Island to California.  Also found along the Atlantic Coast, seashore saltgrass was an important source of hay for our nation’s early settlers.  This plant has also been known under the scientific names Distichlis stricta and Uniola spicata, and the common names inland saltgrass, coastal saltgrass, and marsh spikegrass.   




This page was created by Mary Jo Adams on 9/18/06.



photo of seashore saltgrass

photo of seashore saltgrass