Spartina cynosuroides from Leslie, SC

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I didn’t notice this plant when we moved here in Dec, but it has shot up in the past few months..probably at least 7 ft tall. It’s at the edge of a marshy creek area in Charleston. The leaves have tiny tiny serrations but I don’t think it’s sawgrass? They didn’t seem too sharp. My main question – is it supposed to be there? Thanks!

Hi Leslie,

this is a marsh grass, Spartina cynosuroides, known as big cordgrass or salt reedgrass. To answer your main question, yes, it is supposed to be there. It is not related to sawgrass but the leaf edges may be sharp enough to cut unprotected skin. It is a great grass for the environment, very tough rooted, and it prevents the erosion of coastal marshes. It is closely related to Spartina pectinata found in the same habitat.


Dr. Steven Hill, Botanist, SCNPS


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