Spartina, cord grass, is in the news! At South Dakota State University, Professor Paul Johnson, has identified a new insect, a gall midge, that feeds on young growing seeds of prairie cordgrass, Spartina pectinata, reducing seed set and causing problems for growers who propagate this plant from seed. Prairie cordgrass is native to Minnesota and most of the U.S., and prefers wet sites. Its long strap like leaves and tough rhizomes make it a great plant for shoreline restorations.
In Florida, Grasses in Classes is beginning the fifth year of teaching elementary school children to raise smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora, a Florida native shoreland species. Students in 21 schools end the project by planting smooth cordgrass in salt marsh restoration sites along the Choctawhatchee Bay in northwestern Florida to maintain the stability of the shoreline.