Prairie Cord Grass (Sporobolus michauxianus)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Prairie Cord Grass
Give a thumbs up Cord Grass
Give a thumbs up Prairie Cordgrass
Give a thumbs up Freshwater Cordgrass

Botanical names:
Sporobolus michauxianus Accepted
Spartina pectinata Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 36 - 84 inches
Plant Spread: 12 - 24 inches
Leaves: Other: Leaves have serrated edges and are sharp enough to cut through skin.
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Erosion control
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: 30 - 60 days at 40 F
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Pollinators: Wind
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Awards and Recognitions: Other: 1999 Plant Select Winner

mass at pond, in native landscaping

Photo gallery:

Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 22, 2018 9:34 AM

Prairie Cordgrass has a large native range in North America, covering most of Canada, up into the southern part of the Northwest Territory, and the United States, except for CA, NV, AR, FL, GA, SC, AL, & MS in swamps, marshes, and bottomlands. It is sometimes called Slough Grass or Ripgut because the fibrous leaf blades are tough and rough, and one can cut one's hand handling the sharp-edged blades, so wear gloves. The blades are about 4 feet long x 5/8 inch wide. The grass flowers blooming in August-September appear comb-like in appearance; (the species name of "pectinatus" does mean comb-like in Latin). This species produces lots of rhizomes and spreads quickly. It is a good choice for stabilizing water edges. In the 1990's I once planted a variegated cultivar of this in a terraced hill garden and it did make me unhappy that it wanted to spread too much, though it is pretty.

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