categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

COMMON CORD-GRASS

Spartina anglica

Grasses Family [Poaceae]

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petals
petalsZ0
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5th Aug 2009, Lytham, Lancs Coastal sands. Photo: © RWD
Specially planted in the salt-flats and mud flats of estuaries and tidal rivers to stabilise the wet mud.


5th Aug 2009, Lytham, Lancs Coastal sands. Photo: © RWD
Up to 4 foot tall.


5th Aug 2009, Lytham, Lancs Coastal sands. Photo: © RWD
Aeddish stem from which several wide, rapidly-tapering blades peel off and three flowering spikes, the tallest two paired up as if split.


5th Aug 2009, Lytham, Lancs Coastal sands. Photo: © RWD
Getting swallowed up by rather mobile sand.


5th Aug 2009, Lytham, Lancs Coastal sands. Photo: © RWD
Reddish stem and three spikes before flowering.


23rd Aug 2011, Lytham, Lancs Coastal sands. Photo: © RWD
A pair of twinned flowering spikes, manually held apart so that the pair can be distinguished.


23rd Aug 2011, Lytham, Lancs Coastal sands. Photo: © RWD
The pair as appear normally, as two close-together halves.


5th Aug 2009, Lytham, Lancs Coastal sands. Photo: © RWD
The flowers (anthers) are like miniature but curly bottle-brushes, with creamy-green strands. Close up of curved ridged blade.


23rd Aug 2011, Lytham, Lancs Coastal sands. Photo: © RWD
Close-up of flowers with long fuzzy anthers.


20th Aug 2015, Lytham, Lancs Coastal sands. Photo: © RWD
Almost glass-like threads on the anthers.


10th Oct 2015, salt-marsh, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
In Autumn the long anthers open up and release their cream-coloured pollen


10th Oct 2015, salt-marsh, Marshside, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Short upwardly-directed bristles.


Easily mistaken for : other Cord-Grasses, but the location is as big a clue as any.

Common Cord-grass is native, but is derived from the hybrid between Small Cord-grass (Spartina maritima) and Townsend's Cord-grass (Spartina townsendii). It is able to propagate and multiply by itself and is thus becoming a invasive species. It spreads itself by the 'seeds' which in grasses are called caryopsis (or grain). It also spreads vegetatively by underground rhizomes by which means it can cover large areas. [Townsend's Cord-grass is itself a hybrid between Small Cord-grass (Spartina maritima) and Smooth Cord-grass (Spartina alterniflora)]

One of the parents, Small Cord-grass does not grow and is not planted on the Sefton Coast, but Townsend's Cord-grass is found much closer, but not apparently at Lytham. Townsend's Cord-grass can be distinguished from Common Cord-grass by the length of its anthers, being shorter at 4-8mm long for Townsend's and longer at 8-13mm long for Common.


  Spartina anglica  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Poaceae  

Distribution
 family8Grasses family8Poaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Spartina
Spartina
(Cord-Grasses)

COMMON CORD-GRASS

Spartina anglica

Grasses Family [Poaceae]

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