Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhlenberg. Phen: Mar-Dec. Hab: Dunes, sand flats, upper edges of tidal marshes, maritime wet grasslands, overwash flats. Dist: NL (Newfoundland) south to FL, west to TX; West Indies; Mexico (ROO, TAB, TAM) and Central America.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Taxonomy Comments: Spartina patens var. monogyna has spikelets 7-10 mm long (vs. 9-13 mm); second glume acute to obtuse (rarely acuminate) (vs. acuminate); spikes (2-) 4-9 per inflorescence (vs. 1-4); second highest leaf blade on the stem (1-) avg. 2 (-5) dm long (vs. 0.5-2 dm); plants to 15 dm tall (vs. to 8 dm); culms to 6 mm in diameter at base (vs. to 3 mm). Whether var. monogyna (name available only in Spartina) is worthy of recognition is a matter of debate; there appear to be morphological differences correlated with geography and, according to some authors, habitat, but positive identification to variety is often difficult.
Synonymy: = Bah, C, FNA25, GW1, K1, K3, Mex, Mi, NE, RAB, S, Tx, Va, WH3; = Sporobolus pumilus (Roth) P.M.Peterson & Saarela – FlGr, K4, NY, Peterson et al (2014a); > Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl. var. monogyna – F, G, HC; > Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl. var. patens – F, G, HC