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Spartina gracilis
ALKALI CORD GRASS

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: GRASS FAMILY
Habit: Annual to woody perennial herb; roots generally fibrous. Stem: generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid. Leaf: alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear, parallel-veined; sheath generally open; ligule membranous or hairy, at blade base. Inflorescence: various (of generally many spikelets). Spikelet: glumes generally 2; florets (lemma, palea, flower) 1--many; lemma generally membranous, sometimes glume-like; palea generally +- transparent, +- enclosed by lemma. Flower: generally bisexual, minute; perianth vestigial; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose. Fruit: grain, sometimes achene- or utricle-like.
Genera In Family: 650--900 genera; +- 10550 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials). Note: Generally wind-pollinated. Achnatherum, Ampelodesmos, Hesperostipa, Nassella, Piptatherum, Piptochaetium, Ptilagrostis moved to Stipa; Elytrigia, Leymus, Pascopyrum, Pseudoroegneria, Taeniatherum to Elymus; Hierochloe to Anthoxanthum; Lolium, Vulpia to Festuca; Lycurus to Muhlenbergia; Monanthochloe to Distichlis; Pleuraphis to Hilaria; Rhynchelytrum to Melinis. The following taxa (in genera not included here), recorded in California from historical collections or reported in literature, are extirpated, lacking vouchers, or not considered naturalized: Acrachne racemosa (Roth) Ohwi, Allolepis texana (Vasey) Soderstr. & H.F. Decker, Amphibromus nervosus (Hook. f.) Baill., Axonopus affinis Chase, Axonopus fissifolius (Raddi) Kuhlm., Coix lacryma-jobi L., Cutandia memphitica (Spreng.) K. Richt., Dinebra retroflexa (Vahl) Panz., Eremochloa ciliaris (L.) Merr., Eustachys distichophylla (Lag.) Nees, Gaudinia fragilis (L.) P. Beauv., Miscanthus sinensis Andersson, Neyraudia arundinacea (L.) Henrard, Phyllostachys aurea Rivière & C. Rivière, Phyllostachys bambusoides Siebold & Zuccarini, Rottboellia cochinchinensis (Lour.) Clayton, Schedonnardus paniculatus (Nutt.) Branner & Coville, Schizachyrium cirratum (Hack.) Wooton & Standl., Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash, Themeda quadrivalvis (L.) Kuntze, Thysanolaena latifolia (Hornem.) Honda, Tribolium obliterum (Hemsl.) Renvoize, Zea mays L., Zizania palustris L. var. interior (Fassett) Dore, Zoysia japonica Steud. Paspalum pubiflorum E. Fourn., Paspalum quadrifarium Lam., are now reported for southern California (J Bot Res Inst Texas 4:761--770). See Glossary p. 30 for illustrations of general family characteristics.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr., except as noted
Scientific Editor: James P. Smith, Jr., J. Travis Columbus, Dieter H. Wilken.
Genus: SpartinaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: CORD GRASS
Habit: Perennial herb, generally with rhizomes. Stem: erect, unbranched. Leaf: basal and cauline; sheath open, > internodes, glabrous, margin of sheath opening sometimes with long, shaggy hairs; ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.5--2 mm; blade flat to inrolled, long tapered, upper surface ridged. Inflorescence: panicle-like; each spike-like branch with 2 rows of overlapping spikelets on lower side of axis. Spikelet: laterally compressed, sessile, breaking below glumes, falling as 1 unit; glumes firmly membranous, obtuse to acuminate or with a small, sharp point, unequal, upper 1--3(5)-veined, generally > floret, lower 1-veined, < floret; floret 1; lemma 1(3)-veined, acute, awned or not, firmly membranous; palea +- = lemma, 2-veined. Fruit: achene-like, seed free from thin ovary wall.
Species In Genus: 15 species: America, Europe, Africa. Etymology: (Greek: a cord) Note: Spartina anglica C.E. Hubb introduced to SnFrB (Creekside Park, Marin Co.).
eFlora Treatment Author: John R. Baird & John W. Thieret

Spartina gracilis Trin.
NATIVE
Habit: Rhizome 3--5 mm wide, elongate, slender. Stem: generally 1, 1.8--10 dm, base 2--5 mm wide, slender, internodes firm. Leaf: blade 15--27 cm, base 2.5--6 mm wide, generally inrolled when fresh, ridges on upper surface +- 5 per mm. Inflorescence: 4--25 cm, 5--12 mm wide, compact; branches 2--12, overlapping (often for only 1/2 their length, or lowest spike rarely separated), appressed, 1.5--8 cm, 2--6 mm wide. Spikelet: 6--11 mm; glume, lemma keels ciliate at least near tip, hairs generally 0.3--1 mm; lower glume 3--7 mm; upper glume 5--11 mm; lemma 6.5--10 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=40,42.
Ecology: Alkaline lake shores, streambanks, meadows, marshes; Elevation: 1000--2100 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNE, n DMoj; Distribution Outside California: to northern and eastern Canada, Kansas, New Mexico. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug
eFlora Treatment Author: John R. Baird & John W. Thieret
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Citation for this treatment: John R. Baird & John W. Thieret 2016. Spartina gracilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=45045, accessed on February 13, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on February 13, 2016.


Spartina gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Spartina gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson
Spartina gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2005 Steve Matson
Spartina gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Spartina gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2005 Steve Matson
Spartina gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson

More photos of Spartina gracilis in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Spartina gracilis:
SNE, n DMoj;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.