Prairie Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata)

Tall grass stems and seed heads.

NPS/Gordon Dietzman

Prairie Home | Wetland Home


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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Last updated: May 27, 2019

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


This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center.

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