Spartina is the only grass species found in the inter-tidal zone apart from the small native non-grass Zostera. Tall fescue, couch and other grass species are similar to spartina but none of these are found in the intertidal zone.

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Spartina is a perennial, clump-forming grass to 1 m with rhizomes and fibrous roots and erect stems with many brownish leaf sheaths. Seedheads are occasionally seen, and seed is occasionally produced at some sites.

Spartina is one of the Dirty Dozen in New Zealand's War on Weeds.


Spartina is controlled by the Department of Conservation - contact your local DoC office for more information.

Did You Know Did You Know

  • Spartina, also known as cord grass, is two species; Spartina anglica and S. alterniflora

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