Sporobolus virginicus

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Sporobolus virginicus
Starr 010202-0207 Sporobolus virginicus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Subclass: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Sporobolus
Species: S. virginicus
Binomial name
Sporobolus virginicus
(L.) Kunth

Sporobolus virginicus, known by numerous common names including marine couch, sand couch, salt couch grass, saltwater couch, coastal rat-tail grass, and nioaka, is a species of grass with a wide distribution.


It is a spreading perennial tussock grass from 10 to 50 centimetres in height. Its flowers are green or purple. It reproduces asexually by use of both stolons and rhizomes.[1]


It was originally published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, under the name Agrostis virginicus. It was transferred into Sporobolus by Karl Sigismund Kunth in 1829. It has a great many synonyms.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It grows in Australia, New Zealand, many Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Africa, India, China and Indonesia. It is widespread in Australia, occurring in every state, although in New South Wales it is considered naturalised.[3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth". FloraBase. Department of Environment and Conservation, Government of Western Australia. 
  2. ^ "Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  3. ^ New South Wales Flora Online: Sporobolus virginicus by S. W. L. Jacobs & K. L. McClay, Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia.