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Marsh grass is a robust ornamental grass that can form clumps that are 18 to 20 feet in diameter. This grass may grow from 3 to 4 feet tall, and its fine-textured, wiry leaves form a fountain spray pattern. The upper surfaces of the leaves are dark green, but the lower surfaces are light green in color. The obscure flowers of this plant may occur in the early spring but are relatively scarce. The seed heads of this grass are generally 2 to 8 inches long, but the plant reproduces mainly by rhizomes.



Scientific name: Spartina bakeri

Pronunciation: spar-TYE-nuh BAY-ker-rye

Common name(s): marsh grass, sand cordgrass

Family: Poaceae

Plant type: herbaceous; ornamental grass

USDA hardiness zones: 8B through 11 (Figure 2)

Planting month for zone 8: year-round

Planting month for zone 9: year-round

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year-round

Origin: native to Florida

Invasive potential: aggressive, spreading plant

Uses: reclamation plant; accent; border; edging; mass planting

Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant



Marsh grass can be used as an accent or border and is striking when planted in a mass. Space plants about 3 to 4 feet apart to form a mass of foliage several years after planting. It is a good native grass for use on the shorelines of ponds and streams and is exquisite when backlit by the sun. It also is suited for planting in and around water retention and detention areas because of its tolerance for wet soil.

Grow marsh grass in full sun or light shade on medium dry to wet soils. This plant can tolerate periodic flooding during the growing season and will grow well on the margins of sand ponds and freshwater marshes. Spartina patens and Spartina alterniflora are tolerant of saline water and often grow in coastal saltwater mashes.



No pests or diseases are of major concern.

Cord Grass (Poaceae Gramineae)


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