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Useful Temperate Plants

Distichlis spicata

(L.) Greene

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Agropyron peruvianum (Lam.) Roem. & Schult.

Brachypodium peruvianum (Lam.) Roem. & Schult. ex Kunth

Briza spicata (L.) Lam.

Brizopyrum americanum Link

Brizopyrum boreale J.Presl

Brizopyrum ovatum Nees ex Steud.

Brizopyrum prostratum (Kunth) Benth. ex E.Fourn.

Brizopyrum spicatum (L.) Hook. & Arn.

Brizopyrum thalassicum (Kunth) Nees

Distichlis araucana Phil.

Distichlis dentata Rydb.

Distichlis deserticola Phil.

Distichlis hirsuta Phil.

Distichlis hirta Phil.

Distichlis marginata Phil.

Distichlis maritima Raf.

Distichlis mendocina Phil.

Distichlis nodosa Raf.

Distichlis prostrata (Kunth) É.Desv.

Distichlis stricta (Torr.) Rydb.

Distichlis tenuifolia Phil.

Distichlis thalassica E.Desv.

Distichlis viridis Phil.

Eragrostis thalassica (Kunth) Steud.

Festuca distichophylla Michx.

Festuca spicata Nutt.

Festuca triticea Kunth

Festuca triticoides Lam.

Megastachya prostrata (Kunth) Roem. & Schult.

Megastachya thalassica (Kunth) Roem. & Schult.

Poa borealis (J.Presl) Kunth

Poa dactyloides Kunth

Poa michauxii Kunth

Poa prostrata Kunth

Poa repens Willd. ex Steud.

Poa subulata Bosc ex Kunth

Poa thalassica Kunth

Triticum peruvianum Lam.

Uniola distichophylla (Michx.) Roem. & Schult.

Uniola flexuosa Buckley

Uniola multiflora Nutt.

Uniola prostrata (Kunth) Trin.

Uniola pungens Rupr. ex M.Martens & Galeotti

Uniola spicata L.

Uniola stricta Torr.

Uniola thalassica (Kunth) Trin.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Distichlis spicata is perennial grass with elongated rhizomes forming dense colonies of growth. The erect culms can be 10 - 60cm tall. The rhizomes and roots can form dense mats of growth; the plant sometimes forms pure, extremely dense stands and is then seldom more than 30cm tall[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials. It is harvested from the wild on a commercial scale for use as a medicine, and is often grown in land restoration and stabilization projects.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

S. America - Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia; Caribbean; C. America - Belize, Guatemala north to Canada

Habitat

Found in a wide range of environments that include salt marshes, sandy flats, inland salt marshes, alkaline flats, coastal tidal marshes, foothills, deserts, grasslands, salt playas, and along the banks of streams, rivers, and lakes; to 2,700 metres[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.30 m
PollinatorsWind
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Distichlis spicata grows in a wide range of environments. It requires a minimum growing season of 80 frost-free days for growth. It can be found in the extremely arid Death Valley region of California, where annual precipitation is as low as 19mm and an air temperature of 57°c has been recorded. Conversely, it also occurs in Yellowstone National Park, where the mean annual precipitation can be as high as 2,030 mm. It is also found on the mixed-grass prairies of Alberta and Saskatchewan where temperatures can dip to -48°c in winter[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The plant requires a sunny position[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. It is usually found in fine-textured soils, often low in oxygen[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. It prefers a moist environment, tolerating occasional flooding, but can also withstand considerable drought[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Plants grow well in alkaline soils and are extremely tolerant of saline soils, succeeding where salinity levels can be more than 8%, though it then grows in a dwarfed form[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Plants are usually found on soils with a pH ranging from 6.8 - 9.2, exceptionally tolerating 10.9[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Saltgrass grows in highly stressful environments where it is frequently subjected to temperature, drought, and salt stress or in tidal salt marshes where its entire above-ground biomass is periodically inundated with sea water[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The rhizomes have sharp points with numerous epidermal silica cells that aid in the penetration of heavy soils[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Edible Uses

Leaves and stems - used extensively for food[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].
The dried grass cakes have been soaked in water then strained to make a beverage[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Native Americans in California used saltgrass as a seasoning. They collected the salt crystals by threshing the blades. The seasoning provided is gray-green and said to have tasted like a salty dill pickle[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
The plant has been burnt and the ashes used as a salt-rich flavouring in food[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Medicinal

Saltgrass is a respiratory allergenic plant that is offered by Miles Pharmaceutical and used by Florida physicians to treat respiratory allergies[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

An infusion of the plant is used as a laxative and also in the treatment of conditions such as gonorrhoea, fast heart rate[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

A decoction of salt obtained from the plant is cooked into a gum and allowed to melt in order to treat bad colds and loss of appetite[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Given its extensive system of rhizomes and roots which form a dense sod, saltgrass is considered an outstanding species for controlling wind and water erosion[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The thick entangled roots of salt marsh plants acts as a guard between the ocean and the shore protecting the land from pollutants and other chemicals associated with runoff water. It is particularly useful in saline/alkaline wetlands[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
The plant has successfully established on land with very high rates of copper, manganese and zinc. It lgrows healthily, but argely excludes these metals from its foliage, so cannot be used to remove contaminants from the land[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]..

Other Uses

Saltgrass culms have been used as a cleaning agent. The stiffness of the leaves makes them an excellent brushing material for cleaning various implements or removing cactus thorns from objects[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
,
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Propagation

Seed - it benefits from stratification and scarification. Sow in a seedbed and only just cover the seed. Keep in a sunny position and make sure the seeds do not dry out. Seeds taken from a California salt marsh and placed in a moist environment germinated at a rate of 76% when scarified, 94% when stratified at 4°c, and 28% when left untreated. A daily temperature regime of 10°c for 16 hours and 40°c for 8 hours produced the best germination rates[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Seeds 8 months old germinate more freely than fresh seed[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Division of the plant is very easy at any time of the year.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-07-19. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Distichlis+spicata>

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