Smooth cordgrass

Spartina anglica


Habitat: estuarine habitats, 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


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.


Where is it found in Ireland? Spartina anglica is widespread on sheltered muds at tide level around the coast of Ireland.


Prevent Spread


  • Do not deliberately introduce this species.
  • Report all sightings.


Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland