Prairie Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata)

Tall grass stems and seed heads.

NPS/Gordon Dietzman

Prairie Home | Wetland Home

Introduction

Prairie cordgrass is a coarse, tough plant that grows in places that are wet for at least part of the year. The blades are not only long with sharp points but the margins of the blade are capable of cutting skin so some caution should be taken when walking through this grass and especially when handling it. Growing up to seven feet tall, it tends to tangle around a hiker's feet as well, making it difficult hike through environments where it is common.

Fascinating Facts

  • This plant's genus name comes from the Greek word spartine, which refers to its tough, fiberous leaves.
  • It is sometimes referred to as slough grass for its preferred wet habitats.
  • Also known as ripgut for its sharp-edged leaves.

Find It

Crosby Farm Regional Park

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See our iNaturalist project, "The Life of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area" and contribute to it by downloading the iNaturalist app and uploading your sightings of this species, and others, to the project. You can also upload your sightings from your computer.

Last updated: March 21, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Phone:

(651) 293-0200
This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 1 day, often sooner.

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