Spartina* Gen. Pl. ed. 8, 43 (1789).
Derivation:. From the Greek spartine (a cord made from spartes, Spartium junceum); referring to the fibrous leaves.
Key references (keys and floras):. J.P.Jessop, Flora of South Australia 4: 1954–1955 (1986); B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 159 (1993); N.G. Walsh, Flora of Victoria 2: 579–580 (1994); D.I.Morris, Student's Flora of Tasmania 4B: 330–332 (1994); E.Edgar and H.E.Connor, Flora of New Zealand 5: 511–515 (2000); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002); K.Mallet (ed.), Flora of Australia 44B: Poaceae 3: 310–311 (2005); J.P.Jessop, Grasses of South Australia 393–395 (2006).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (415).
Naturalised. 16 species, from temperate America, coastal Europe, Africa, Tristan da Cunha. 2 species in Australia, SA, Vic, and Tas. Also New Zealand.
Habit. Perennial, rhizomatous to stoloniferous or tufted. Leaf blades broad or narrow. Ligule a fringe of hairs.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence of spicate main branches (with 2 to many long or short spikes, borne racemosely on the main axis).
Spikelets. Spikelets strongly laterally compressed, solitary, sessile (on one side of infloresecence axis); with rachilla terminating in a floret. Fertile spikelets abaxial (with lower glume on side away from rachis), strongly laterally compressed, falling with glumes.
Glumes. Glumes unequal (the upper longer), exceeding florets, (the upper) long relative to adjacent lemmas (often exceeding it), hairy or hairless, pointed, shortly awned or awnless (in Australian material), similar (leathery or membranous). Lower glume 1 nerved. Upper glume 1–3 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 1. Lemmas entire at apex or incised, when entire pointed or blunt, muticous, 1–3 nerved, 1 keeled. Palea relatively long, 2 nerved, 2 keeled. Stamens 3. Stigmas 2. Grain medium sized, fusiform. Hilum short. Embryo large. Endosperm hard.
Kranz Anatomy. C4, biochemical type PCK.
2n = 28, 40, 42, 60, 62, 84, 120, 122, and 124, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 12 ploid, commonly adventive.
Habitat. Hydrophytic to helophytic. Species of open habitats.
Classification. Chloridoideae; Cynodonteae.
Notes. Spartina lacks close relatives. The genus, whose species show little varation and are often difficult to distinguish, is remarkable for its adaptation to a marine habitat (Clayton and Renvoize, 1986).
Types Species. S. schreberi J.F.Gmel.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Naturalised.