Vegetatively established grasses in a nutshell

There are a suite of perennial grasses that can only be established vegetatively, but that have exceptionally high tolerance to salinity, waterlogging or both. These grasses need to be ‘planted’ with segments of stolons (surface runners) or rhizomes (underground stems or runners).

The important saltland species are marine couch (Sporobolus virginicus), saltwater couch (Paspalum vaginatum) and distichlis (Distichlis spicata) - all are creeping, relatively fine-leafed grasses that spread via rhizomes, stolons or both, so specific identification can be difficult.

Because of the expense in establishment, these plants tend to be used mostly in horticulture as turf grasses in situations where the soil is saline, or where only saline water is available for irrigation.

Independent research and farmer case studies with vegetatively established grasses are rare, so confidence in this Saltland Solution is limited, but it is one of the highest cost solutions because of the need to harvest and ‘plant’ the vegetative material. 

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