Distichlis spicata

saltgrass - Distichlis spicata
saltgrass - Distichlis spicata

aka: coastal salt grass, inland saltgrass, seashore saltgrass, spike grass and alkali grass

characteristics

Green foliage that grows erect (then drops to lay against the ground in drier conditions). Can reach up to 1 metre tall in wet areas. Tends to stay shorter in drier areas. Native to and ubiquitous in North America. A dioecious species with male and female reproductive parts on separate plants.

starts from seed (poor germination rate), transplanted rhizomes work better

T SSN H W sun soil H2O fire N2 pH summer fall flower (seed)
P CW 0.3 S S/PS F-M-C M-W ••• - 6.0-8.4 green yellow-pale maroon

habitat

Often found in wet locations but grows well in dry conditions. Often found in saline or alkaline soils but will grow just about anywhere. Prefers full sun but will grow in partial shade.

uses

Host plant for Sandhill Skipper, Polites sabuleti and Wandering Skipper, Panoquina panoquinoides errans. Seed source for birds (mostly water fowl); nectar souce for butterlfies.

Extracts salt from soil. Was used as a source of salt by North American aboriginals.

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common > name = have on site
T = type: A = annual | B = biennial | P = perennial | SS = subshrub | D = deciduous | C = coniferous
██ = cold stratify | ██ = cold stratify & scarify | ██ = plant directly | ██ = scarify | ██ = not from seed
SSN = season: C = cool | W = warm | Y = late
H = height (in metres) | W = width (in metres) | B = bunch | S = sod | SB = sod/bunch
sun: S = full sun | S/PS = sun or partial shade | PS = partial shade | SH = full shade
soil: F = fine | M = medium | C = coarse
H2O = moisture requirement: D = dry | M = moist | W = wet | Z = aquatic
fire = fire tolerance: - = unknown | X = none | = some | •• = moderate | ••• = high tolerance
N2 = nitrogen fixing: = yes
summer = foliage colour | fall = foliage (stem) colour | flower (seed) = flower (seed / fruit) colour, if conspicuous
pH = acidity - alkalinity