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Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed

Growth Form Marshfull Closeup

Distichlis spicata - Saltgrass

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Family Name: Poaceae

Common Names: Saltgrass, Seashore Salt Grass

Origin: Native to California

Habitat: Salt marshes and alkaline flats from coast to interior. Below 1000 m.

Life Form and Duration: Perennial Herb, 10-50 cm

Comments on overall growth: Low growing grass, generally prostrate, forms large colonies. Spreads by extensive creeping rhizomes, occasionally produces stolons. Rhizomes stout, scaly, yellowish. Jointed stems, rigid, erect.

Foliage Description: Leaves distinctly 2-ranked along stem, numerous, stiff, wiry, sharp pointed, flat or loosely rolled, 2-10 cm long by 1-4 mm wide.

Infloresence Description: Plants are dioecious. 5-15 flower spikelets in a pale or greenish condensed panicle, 1-8 cm long. Spikelets 6-20 mm long, purplish to straw-colored. Staminate panicles held above leaves, pistilate panicles held lower than or equal to the leaf blades.

Flowering Season: April-July

Other Comments: May form unisexual colonies vegetatively. Valuable as range forage when vegetation is scarce.