Marshhay, Cordgrass, Salt Meadow Cordgrass, Wiregrass
Description: Perennial, low to medium height, erect, spreading or creeping grass 1-3 ft tall often covering large portions of dunes forming cow-licked mats. Stems slender, stiff and hollow occurring singly or in small clusters from creeping roots or in dense tufts or clumps from non-creeping roots. Leaves linear and narrow (1-4 mm) and often rolled or turned in at the margins, open terminal inflorescence (panicle, up to 8 in long) usually composed of three to six spikes (4/5-2 in long), alternately arranged and diverging from main axis at 45-60 degree angles, each with 20-50 densely overlapping spikelets (1/5-1/2 in long) on one side of the axis. Flowers bearing 2-7 branches at 45 degree angle to main stem. Flowering from June to Oct.
Habitat: Irregularly flooded salt, brackish and tidal fresh marshes, borders of salt marshes, inland saline areas, coastal salt marshes, backshore near sand dunes, windward and leeward slopes of dunes, vegetation-stabilized sands and flats, and damp to wet fresh water areas near coast.
Distribution: Along the coast of Texas, Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast from Quebec to Florida; inland in New York and Michigan
Status: Excellent dune stabilizer and utilized as grass for grazing cattle in salt marches. Snow geese sometimes eat rhizomes. Marks the highest elevation along the crest.