Cordgrass (Spartina foliosa), or Espartina in Spanish, is a grass endemic to central and southern California coastal salt marshes that are subject to tidal inundations. Thriving in salty, alkaline conditions, the roots of the Cordgrass can take in seawater while expelling the salts.
This grass grows best away from other plant species and will appear in clusters or larger stands. The largest stands of Cordgrass in southern California can be found in San Diego Bay, Bolsa Chica, Mission Bay, Upper Newport Bay, Anaheim Bay, and the Tijuana Estuary.
To see Cordgrass in its natural habitat, visit the Tijuana River National Estuarine National Research Reserve.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lisa Cox, Pacific Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service