Plants rhizomatous; rhizomes with scales not inflated, not imbricate.
Culms to 80 cm, relatively soft, solitary or in small clumps. Sheaths
mostly glabrous, throat sometimes sparingly pilose, lower sheaths often wrinkled;
ligules 0.2-0.6 mm; blades 6-12 cm long, 5-8 mm wide, loosely involute,
disarticulating from the sheaths, abaxial surfaces glabrous, adaxial surfaces
glabrous or sparsely pilose, margins smooth. Panicles 4-14 cm, with (1)2-3(7)
branches; branches 2-11 cm, alternate, loosely appressed, not twisted,
lower and upper branches more or less equally imbricate, with 5-30 spikelets.
Spikelets 10-15 mm. Glumes straight, mostly appressed pubescent,
only the margins glabrous; lower glumes 7-10 mm, narrow, acuminate, obtuse,
or rounded; upper glumes 10-15 mm, acuminate (rarely obtuse); lemmas
mostly appressed pubescent, margins and basal portion of the keels glabrous, apices
acuminate; anthers 3-6.5 mm, well-filled, dehiscent at maturity. 2n
= 60 .
Spartina maritima is a European species that has been reported as growing
in Mississippi (Kartesz and Meacham 1999); the record has not been verified for
this treatment. It also grows in Africa, possibly as an introduction.