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 seashore dropseed,[1] 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.[2]


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.[3]

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,[4] occurring in every state, although in New South Wales it is considered naturalised.[5]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Sporobolus virginicus". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife. 
  3. ^ "Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  4. ^ p24 It is the most wildly distributed saltmarsh plant in Australia Saintilan, Neil; CSIRO (2009), Australian saltmarsh ecology, CSIRO Publishing, ISBN 978-0-643-09684-4 
  5. ^ S. W. L. Jacobs & K. L. McClay. "New South Wales Flora Online: Sporobolus virginicus". Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia.