Smooth cordgrass has smooth, blade-like leaves that taper to a point. The leaves grow 12 to 20 inches in length and one-half an inch wide. Tiny, white flowers bloom in July to September.

The plant has round, hollow stems and a strong, interconnected root system. Smooth cordgrass grows in two forms: a short form that grows to 2 feet tall, and a tall form that can reach 7 feet tall.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Smooth cordgrass usually reproduces asexually. Its long, underground rhizomes (underground portions of a plant’s stem) spread and form new stems. Flowers mature into foot-long seed spikes in autumn.

Did You Know?

  • Smooth cordgrass is also known as saltmarsh cordgrass. It is the dominant grass in the Bay’s salt marshes.
  • The short form of cordrass is more common in slightly higher areas, while the tall form is more common in low areas that are flooded by tides every day.
  • This grass can be used to control shoreline erosion. It also provides important habitat for marsh periwinkles, ribbed mussels and fiddler crabs.

Sources and Additional Information