Spartina pectinata is a perennial C4 grass (Waller and Lewis 1979) 1-2 m tall, stems 0.5-1 cm diameter at base, erect, colonial from long rhizomes.
Leaves 30-80 cm long, 0.8-1 cm wide or more, margins very sharply, cutting-raspy.
Flower spikelets closely overlapping on 2 sides of a 3-sided axis, 1-flowered, about 1-1.3 cm long, awn 0.3-1 cm from tip of second glume; glumes bristly on keel; inflorescence 20-40 cm long, of 7-27 spikes often appressed to axis, 2-11 cm long, 0.5-0.8 cm wide, including awns; blooming and fruiting July-Sept.
Wetland status: OBL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Wet, open habitats, freshwater meadows, marshes.