Definitions

Spartina

Spartina

Spartina, commonly known as cordgrass or cord-grass, contains 14 species, native to the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean in western and southern Europe, northwest and southern Africa, the Americas and the southern Atlantic Ocean islands; one or two species also occur on the North American Pacific Ocean coast and in freshwater habitats inland in the Americas. The highest species diversity is on the east coasts of North America and South America, particularly Florida.

They form large, often dense colonies, particularly on coastal saltmarshes, and grow quickly. The species vary in size from 0.3-2 m tall. Many of the species will produce hybrids if they come into contact.

Selected species and hybrids

Cultivation

Spartina has been planted by humans to reclaim estuarine areas for stripping, to supply feed for livestock, and to prevent erosion. Various members of the genus (especially Spartina alterniflora and its derivatives, Spartina anglica and Spartina × townsendii) have spread outside of their native boundaries and become invasive.

Spartina species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Aaron's Skipper (which feeds exclusively on Smooth Cordgrass) and The Engrailed.

References

See also

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