Smooth cordgrass

Spartina anglica

Overview

Photo credit: ©Jurgen Howaldt
Spartina anglica
Habitat:
  • It inhabits estuarine habitats, and wetlands.

Description:
  • Smooth cord-grass is a robust grass with erect shoots which can reach 1.3m. Deep-rooting perennial, spreading by soft stout fleshy rhizomes, forming large clumps and extensive meadows. Culms erect, stout, many-noded, smooth. Leaves green or greyish-green.
  • Download N.I.E.A. ID guide

Origin and Distribution:
  • This species developed in the south coast of England after the introduction of the non native species S. alterniflora.
  • It is believed that S. alterniflora arrived in Britain via contamination of ballast water or sediment.
  • Non native Spartina species also represent a significant risk to mudflat habitats in North America as well as in Europe.

Impacts:
  • The primary habitat of this species is just below the regular salt marsh communities and in the areas occupied by intertidal Zostera. This is of significant concern to environmental managers as certain species of birds such as the Brent geese depend on this habitat for food.
  • The spartina swards are also cited as creating monocultures.

How did it get here?
  • This species was initially planted in Ireland to stabilise dunes.

Is it found in Ireland or Northern Ireland?
  • It is found in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.
  • More information can be found at NBDC and NBN Atlas NI.

You can help by reporting any sightings:

Static Distribution Map as of December 2019 - Courtesy of CEDaR


Prevent Spread
  • Do not deliberately introduce this species.
  • Report all sightings.
  • Know what you grow.
  • Don't swap cuttings with other people.
  • Ensure that water equipment (e.g. kayaks, fishing rods, Wellington boots) are clean and dry before using in another water body. See Check Clean Dry for further information. 

Species Related Files:

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland