Salt & Brackish Marsh

Low Marsh Plants

The low marsh area is flooded daily during high tides.  This zone should be planted from the mid-tide level to just above the Mean High Water elevation.   

  • Saltmarsh cordgrass Spartina alterniflora
  • Black needlerush Juncus roemerianus
  • Saltmarsh bulrush Bolboschoenus robustus
High Marsh Plants

The high marsh area is only flooded during extreme high tides and storm events.  This zone should be planted from Mean High Water to the upland transition zone.  Low marsh and high marsh plants can be mixed at the Mean High Water elevation.

  • Saltmeadow hay Spartina patens
  • Salt grass Distichlis spicata
  • Big cordgrass Spartina cynosuroides
  • Switch grass Panicum virgatum
  • Groundsel bush Baccharis halimifolia
  • Marsh elder Iva frutescens
  • Seaside goldenrod Solidago sempervirens
  • Sea oxeye Borrichia frutescens
  • Marsh hibiscus Hibiscus moscheutos
  • Marsh mallow Kosteletzkya virginica
Field Guide to Virginia Salt and Brackish Marsh Plants

Field Guide to Virginia Salt & Brackish Marsh

This basic field guide illustrates the most common plants in Virginia’s tidal salt marshes.  Vegetation is divided into zones based on the extent of tidal inundation.  The most recognizable feature of each plant is also featured with illustrations and photographs.