Native SpeciesSalt hay

Spartina patens
FOUND by York72
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by rmaclean
Peer reviewed by york73
Field Notes
We are in the middle of an expedition on the saltmarsh and we went out to the field to get to know the marsh better and to look for some marsh species. We picked salt hay to look for because it is one of our species we are researching. We picked periwinkles because we wanted to look for an animal that has an invasive competitor and we knew periwinkles were in the area. It was raining and windy and sunny at different times which made it hard to sketch and write at times. The Eastern Trail is used by many folks for exercise but they stay on the trail and don't go onto the peat. We set up a transect line from the tideline to the trail and randomly placed 4 quadrats on the line. Our team split into four groups to check all of the quadrats and write down our data. We also had a sketch station and a salt panne station for building marsh parfaits and a human impact station. One challenge was hanging onto our papers in the wind. Another challenge was taking good pictures in the rain. It was fun to get stick in the mud but the smell of sulfur was intense!
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
Leaf length: 8 cm Leaf Width: .1 cm The leaf size matches the information on the I.D. card.
Photo of my evidence.
The distance from the plant to the waterline was 12.2 meters. This puts the plant in the High Marsh, which is where you would normally find this species.
Photo of my evidence.
Light green stem that starts to get darker towards the top with smooth stem and leaves that are slightly bent. Inside the quadrat the plants looked very swirled and twisted which matches the ID card description for salt hay.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Spartina patens
Common name:
Salt hay
Is it alive?: 
Some dead & some alive
Count of individuals: 
3/4 - Completely covered
Vegetative structures (plants)
How big is it?: 
5 - 10 cm
Is it male or female?: 
Can't tell
Sampling method: 
Quadrat (randomized- placement)
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.563922 °
W -70.365565 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Coastal - Saltmarsh
Trip Information
Eastern Trail - Scarborough Marsh
Trip date: 
Fri, 2012-04-27 09:30
Town or city: 
Type of investigation: 
Species and Habitat Survey
Time of low tide: 
Thu, 2012-04-12 09:44
Habitat Observations
Species diversity: 
8 different species
Evidence of vectors: 
Paved road
Dirt road
Walking trail
Recent disturbance
Water temperature: 
Dissolved oxygen: 


Yes, there's a lot of saltmeadow hay on site, and most of the grass in your photos is that species. Nice job.

The broader leaved plant on the last photo may be another common salt marsh grass, Distichlis spicata, or "spike grass". It's really hard to tell in a photo from so early in the year, but I know that species is present in the area too.

Glad you got out of the muck so you could publish your great field note, artwork, and evidence!

Thanks for all of the details about the study you did, including a perfect shot of your sampling method.