We are following the treatment by Paul M. Peterson et al; 'A molecular phylogeny and new subgeneric classification of Sporobolus (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Sporobolinae)' Taxon 63 (6) December 2014; 1212-1243, whereby the genus Spartina is transferred to the genus Sporobolus[
Spartina cynosuroides aureomarginata W.Irving
Spartina cynosuroides major St.-Yves
Spartina cynosuroides michauxiana (Hitchc.) St.-Yves
Spartina michauxiana Hitchc.
Spartina pectinata Bosc ex Link
Common Name: Prairie Cord Grass
Sporobolus michauxianus is a vigorous, perennial grass producing culms 100 - 300cm tall. The plant grows from a highly branched rhizome that forms an open network in the first 30cm of soil - the rhizomes can grow 150 - 300cm a year, reproduction from rhizomes produces a complete cover, often in dense stands where almost no other plants are found. The roots grow from the rhizomes and the base of the clumps and penetrate almost vertically downward to depths of 240 - 330cm[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of materials. It is used in soil stabilization projects.
N. America - British Colombia and Northwest Territories to Newfoundland , south to Oregon, Utah, Texas and North Carolina
Shores and gravels[
] and in marshes and sloughs[
]. Usually found in freshwater marshes, though extending into saline marshes near the coast[
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Succeeds in fresh or salt water marshes and in ordinary garden soil[
]. Prefers a deep rich moist soil in sun or light shade[
]. Adaptable to a range of growing conditions, including arable soils, cut over peats, waterlogged and brackish soil, and it is able to produce higher yields than most natural grasses with a low input on fertiliser[
Plants have an invasive root system[
The plant survives fires - all top growth is usually consumed, but the plant resprouts freely from the rhizomes[
Plants have an extensive root system and can be used for soil stabilization, especially along coasts[
].The stiff stems, vigorous rhizomes and robust size of this species are useful in stabilizing soil, dissipating wave energy and providing cover. It has proven useful in preventing erosion on earthfill dams, spillways and drainage channels.[
]. It could be used to restore or reconstruct wetlands where prolonged flooding does not occur[
The plant has a great ability to stabilize soil and prevent water erosion. Steep streambanks lined with prairie cordgrass allow little if any soil to be removed, even when streams run bank full during heavy rains. Moderate soil deposits will injure this grass much less than other species. Sharp points on the shoots allow them to push their way through a foot of sand or silt[
This species is being investigated as a potential biomass crop. It has been shown to be adaptable to a range of growing conditions and to produce higher yields than most natural grasses with a low input on fertiliser[
]. However yields are lower than seem possible from some other biomass crops such as Miscanthus[
]. The advantage of this species is the potential to be established from seed, its greater adaptability to adverse soil conditions, low fertiliser requirement and its higher dry matter content earlier in the winter[
]. It is likely that this species will be well suited to mild wet climate areas in Europe[
The culms are much used for thatching[
Seed - requires light for germination. Sow in a greenhouse in spring and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Seeds germinate readily in wet soil, and seedlings develop rapidly[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer if sufficient growth has been made, otherwise overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out in the following spring.
Division in spring.