Distribution: Vancouver Island, British Columbia, south to California; also along the east coast of the United States from Canada to Florida and Texas.
Habitat: Coastal beaches and salt marshes.
Flowers: June - September
Growth Duration: Perennial
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Dioecious perennials from extensive rhizomes, the culms solid, 10-40 cm. tall, sometimes decumbent and stolonous.
Sheaths open, glabrous; ligules about 0.5 mm. long; blades involute, 2-4 mm. broad, usually glabrous, stiff and sharp-pointed.
Inflorescence a compact panicle 3-8 cm. long; staminate spikelets yellowish, 7- to 16-flowered, strongly compressed; pistillate spikelets greenish, 5- to 9-flowered; first glume 2-2.5 mm. long, the second 1 mm. longer; staminate lemmas membranous, about 6 mm. long, the pistillate lemmas harder and shorter; paleas slightly shorter, with a winged keel 0.1 mm. broad.
PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Distichlis spicata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.
WA Flora Checklist: Distichlis spicata checklist entry.
OregonFlora: Distichlis spicata information.
E-Flora BC: Distichlis spicata atlas page.
CalPhotos: Distichlis spicata photos.
USDA Plants: Distichlis spicata information.