Prairie cordgrass

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Spartina pectinata Bosc ex Link

Common name(s): prairie cordgrass, freshwater cordgrass, slough grass

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– perennial


-stiff stem

-can grow 6-8 feet in height

-sharp, serrated edges of the leaf blade

-Seedheads are composed of 10 to 20 spikes attached to the main stem

– observed spreading throughout Downeast Maine via roadside ditches. May be confused with S. alterniflora, but only in wetlands; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage






-forms thick stands

  • provides cover for birds and mammals


-can be used as erosion control

-used to restore or reconstruct wetlands where prolonged flooding does not occur



Bush, Tony. “PRAIRIE CORDGRASSSpartina Pectinata Bosc Ex Link.” Plant Fact Sheet , USDA NRCS Rose Lake Plant Materials Cente, East Lansing, Michigan , Feb. 2002,


Eric T. Doucette, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Biology, MA College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA (updated Feb 2018)