SPARTINA Schreb. Cordgrass
Plants hermaphroditic, caespitose or rhizomatous or stoloniferous, perennial. Culms erect or ascending, glabrous; internodes
solid or hollow, terete. Leaves basal or basal and cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete, margins open; auricles
absent; ligules a line of hairs; blades flat or folded or involute, attenuate or linear, stiff or lax, apex acuminate.
Panicles of 2 to several spicate primary unilateral branches; branches usually alternate, spreading or ascending or
appressed, terminating in a bare point; spikelets appressed or pectinate, in two rows. Spikelets solitary,
laterally compressed, disarticulation below the glumes, awned or awnless, sessile; florets 1, reduced floret absent,
callus glabrous, rachilla not extending beyond floret, awnless; glumes 2, the first 1-veined, the second 1-3-veined,
unequal, equal or longer than floret, veins scabrous, awned or awnless; lemmas 1-3-veined, chartaceous, hairy or
glabrous, apex entire or emarginate, awnless; paleas 2-veined, awnless, glabrous. Stamens 3; anthers yellow or cream or brown.
Caryopses fusiform, dark brown. Base chromosome number x=10.
A genus of about 15 species. These species often form extensive colonies because of their rhizomes. The
species are important soil binders in wetlands.