Spartina pectinata
Common Name: prairie cord grass
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Native Range: North America
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 4.00 to 7.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 7.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Yellow-brown
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion

Culture

Best grown in fertile, moist to wet loams in full sun to part shade. Plants tolerate sandy or rocky soils. This grass will spreads by rhizomes to form large colonies. Plants also tolerate some dry soils where they tend to grow/spread less aggressively. Propagate by division.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Spartina pectinata, commonly called prairie cord grass, is a coarse, tough, warm season perennial grass that typically grows in a dense, arching clump to 4-7' tall when in flower. It is native to a large area of North America extending from Newfoundland to Alberta south to Oregon, New Mexico, Louisiana and North Carolina. Typical habitat is freshwater marshes, swampy open valleys, slough and pond margins, low spots along roads and railroads and both wet and dry prairie areas (Steyermark). Glossy dark green leaves (to 4' long and to 5/8" wide) have sharp edges (wear gloves when working with this grass). Leaves turn yellow in autumn. Flower stems rise above the foliage clump in July-August bearing terminal clusters of straw-colored flowers arranged comb-like on cluster branches. This species is also commonly called slough grass and ripgut (sharp-edged leaves).

Genus name comes from Greek spartine meaning cord in reference to the tough, fibrous leaves.

Specific epithet comes from Latin pectinatus meaning comb in reference to the comb-like appearance of flower panicle branches.

Prairie cord grass is a coarse, tough, warm season perennial grass that typically grows in a dense, arching clump to 4-7' tall when in flower. It is native to a large area of North America extending from Newfoundland to Alberta south to Oregon, New Mexico, Louisiana and North Carolina. Typical habitat is freshwater marshes, swampy open valleys, slough and pond margins, low spots along roads and railroads and both wet and dry prairie areas (Steyermark). Glossy dark green leaves (to 4' long and to 5/8" wide) have sharp edges (wear gloves when working with this grass). Leaves turn yellow in autumn. Flower stems rise above the foliage clump in July-August bearing terminal clusters of straw-colored flowers arranged comb-like on cluster branches. Genus name comes from Greek spartine meaning cord in reference to the tough, fibrous leaves. Specific epithet comes from Latin pectinatus meaning comb in reference to the comb-like appearance of flower panicle branches. This species is also commonly called slough grass and ripgut (sharp-edged leaves).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Ponds or water gardens. Excellent for stabilizing soils and for erosion control on slopes, hills or along streams.