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Prairie Cordgrass has attractive foliage with a succulent appearance. It was the dominant grass of wet prairies in Illinois and no other grass species in the state resembles it. There are similar Spartina spp. (Cordgrasses) in brackish and saltwater marshes along both the Eastern and Gulf coasts of the United States, but they don't occur in Illinois. Prairie Cordgrass can be distinguished from other species of this genus by the longer awns of its second glumes (2-12 mm. in length) and the relative length of its first glumes, which are about the same length as the lemmas (7-10 mm. in length). Other Cordgrasses have shorter awns and their first glumes are shorter than their lemmas.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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