This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Dactylis cynosuroides L. Sp. Pl. 71. 1753.
Trachynotia polystachya Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 64. 1803.
T. cynosuroides Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 64. 1803.
S. cynosuroides Roth, Catalect. 3: 10. 1806.
Spartina polystachya Ell. Bot. S. C. & Ga. 1: 95. 1817.
Culms 4°-9° tall, erect, stout, simple, smooth. Sheaths overlapping, those at the base of the culm crowded; ligule a ring of hairs; blades 1° long or more, 1/2'-l' wide, flat, scabrous at least on the margins, attenuate into a long slender tip; spikes 20-50, ascending, often long-peduncled, 2'-4' in length, the rachis rough on the margins; spikelets much imbricated, 4"-5" long, the outer scales acute, strongly scabrous-hispid on the keel, the first half the length of the second; third scale scabrous on the upper part of the keel, obtuse, longer than the first and exceeded by the palet.
In salt and brackish marshes, Connecticut to Florida and Mississippi. Creek-thatch, Creek-stuff. Aug.-Oct.
Dactylis patens Ait. Hort. Kew. 1: 104. 1789.
Spartina patens Muhl. Gram. 55. 1817.
Spartina juncea Ell. Bot. S. C. & Ga. 1: 94. 1817.
Culms 1°-3° tall, smooth. Lower sheaths overlapping and crowded; ligule a ring of short hairs; blades 1/2°-1° long, 1"-2" broad, involute, attenuate into a long tip, smooth and glabrous beneath; spikes 2-10, 1'-2' long, usually ascending, more or less peduncled, the rachis slightly scabrous; spikelets 3"-4" long; outer scales acute, scabrous-hispid on the keel, the first usually rather less than one-half as long as the second; third scale somewhat scabrous on the upper part of the keel, emarginate or 2-toothed at the apex, longer than the first and exceeded by the palet.
On salt meadows and sandy beaches, Newfoundland to Quebec, Florida and Texas. This and Juncus Gerardi, the " Black Grass," furnish most of the salt meadow hay of the Atlantic Coast. Fox-grass, Rush Salt-grass, Three-fork-grass, White-rush, Salt-marsh-grass. Aug.-Oct.
Culms 1°-3° tall, erect, simple, smooth. Sheaths overlapping, those at the base of the culm short and crowded; ligule a ring of short hairs; blades 1° long or less, 1"-3" wide, flat or involute, attenuate into a long tip; spikes 4-8, 1'-2' long, appressed, more or less peduncled; spikelets 3"-4" long; outer scales acute, scabrous-hispid on the keel, the first half the length of the second; third scale obtuse, slightly shorter than the second and about equalling the obtuse palet.
In saline soil, Saskatchewan to British Columbia, south to Kansas and California. Slender Cord-grass. Aug.-Sept.
Dactylis maritima Walt. Fl. Car. 77. 1788. Not Curt. 1785.' Dactylis stricta Ait. Hort. Kew. 1: 104. 1789. Spartina stricta Roth, Neue Beitr. 101. 1802. Spartina alterniflora Lois. Fl. Gall. 2: 719. 1807. Spartina glabra Muhl. Gram. 54. 1817. Spartina. stricta alterniflora A. Gray, Man. Ed. 2, 552. 1856. Spartina stricta maritima Scribn. Mem. Torr. Club 5: 45. 1894.
Culms 1°-9° tall, erect, simple, smooth. Sheaths overlapping, those at the base shorter and looser, much crowded; ligule a ring of short hairs; blades up to 20 long, 2"-7" wide at the base, involute, at least when dry; spikes 3-5, erect or nearly so, 1'-2' long, or slender and 3'-$' long; spikelets 6"-8" long, loosely to rather densely imbricated; empty scales acute or acutish, 1-nerved, the first shorter than the second, which exceeds or equals the third which is glabrous or pubescent; palet longer than the third scale.
Very variable. Common, in some one of its forms, along the coast from Maine to Florida and Texas. Also on the coast of Europe. Spart-grass, Twin Spike-grass, Low Creek-stuff. Creek-sedge or -thatch. Aug.-Oct.