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Selected Tidal Marsh Plant Species of the San Francisco Estuary

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Selected Tidal Marsh Plant Species of the San Francisco Estuary Printed March 2007 Prepared for the
San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project
(a project of the California State Coastal Conservancy)
by Peter Baye, Ph.D. Coastal Plant Ecologist

This document was prepared for the State Coastal
Conservancy Invasive Spartina Project under contract to
Olofson Environmental, Inc., with grant funding from the
Calfed Bay Delta Program and California Wildlife
Conservation Board.


This guide was prepared to assist Invasive Spartina Project (ISP) staff and volunteers with
recognition and accurate field identification of tidal marsh plants that are likely to occur within
control project and monitoring sites of the Invasive Spartina Project, San Francisco Estuary,

The coverage of tidal marsh plant species conforms with the ISP?s geographic and ecological range
of activities, from Benicia (North Bay) to Alviso (South Bay). Eastern and northern Suisun Marsh is
excluded geographically because the ISP has no project sites there. The geographic scope of this
guide is primarily San Francisco and San Pablo Bay, including the extreme western portions of the
Suisun Bay and Grizzly Bay area

Broadleaf plants (Dicots)

Carpetweed family (Aizoaceae)

Iceplant: Carpobrotus edulis x chilensis

Slender-leaf iceplant ? Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum

New Zealand spinach ? Tetragonia tetragonioides

Amaranth family (Amaranthaceae)

Spearscale ? Atriplex triangularis (A. prostrata)

Wild beet ? Beta vulgaris

Annual pickleweed ? Salicornia europaea

Pickleweed ? Salicornia subterminalis (Arthrocnemum subterminale)

Perennial pickleweed ? Salicornia virginica (Sarcocornia pacifica)

Mediterranean saltword ? Salsola soda

California sea-blite ? Suaeda californica

Carrot family (Apiaceae)

Wild celery ? Apium graveolens

Mason?s lilaeopsis ? Lilaeopsis masonii

Ditch-carrot ? Oenanthe sarmentosa

Aster family (Asteraceae)

Pacific aster ? Aster chilensis

Suisun Marsh aster ? Aster lentus

Saltmarsh mulefat ? Baccharis douglasii

Coyote-brush ? Baccharis pilularis

Brass-buttons ? Cotula coronopifolia

Western goldenrod ? Euthamia occidentalis

San Francisco Bay gumplant ? Grindelia stricta

Poverty-weed ? Iva axillaries

Jaumea ? Jaumea carnosa

Rayless smooth goldfields ? Lasthenia glaberrima

Smooth goldfields ? Lasthenia glabrata

Salt marsh fleabane ? Pluchea odorata

Marsh ragwort ? Senecio hydrophilus

Borage family (Boraginaceae)

Menzies? fiddleneck ? Amsinckia menziesii

Wild heliotrope ? Heliotropium curassavicum

Popcorn flower ? Plagiobothrys bracteatus

Mustard family (Brassicaceae)

Broadleaf pepperweed ? Lepidium latifolium

Radish ? Raphanus sativus

Carnation or pink family (Caryophyllaceae)

Perennial saltmarsh sand spurrey ? Spergularia macrotheca

Annual saltmarsh sand spurrey ? Spergularia marina

Morning glory family (Convolvulaceae)

Alkali-weed ? Cressa truxillensis

Dodder family (Cuscutaceae)

Salt marsh dodder ? Cuscuta salina

Pea family (Fabaceae)

Bird?s-foot trefoil ? Lotus corniculatus

Frankenia family (Frankeniaceae)

Alkali-heath ? Frankenia salina

Gentian family (Gentianaceae)

Centaury ? Centaurium venustum

Loosestrife family (Lythraceae)

Hyssop-leaf loosestrife ? Lythrum hyssopifolium

Broomrape family (Orobanchaceae, traditionally Scrophulariaceae)

Salt marsh owl?s-clover ? Castilleja ambigua

Soft bird?s-beak ? Cordylanthus mollis ssp. mollis

Northern salt marsh bird?s-beak ? Cordylanthus maritimus ssp.

Plantain family (Plantaginaceae)

Rattail plantain ? Plantago coronopus

Dwarf plantain ? Plantago elongate

Seaside plantain ? Plantago maritimus

Buckwheat family (Polygonaceae)

Common knotweed ? Polygonum arenastrum

Marin knotweed ? Polygonum marinense

Knotweed ?Polygonum patulum

Knotweed ? Polygonum prolificum

Curly dock ? Rumex crispus

Golden dock ? Rumex maritimus

Western dock ? Rumex occidentalis

Primrose family (Primulaceae)

Sea-milkwort ? Glaux maritima

Rose family (Rosaceae)

Silverweed ? Potentilla anserine

Grasses and Graminoids (Grasses, sedges, rushes, other monocots)

Sedge family (Cyperaceae)

Clustered field sedge ? Carex praegracilis

Common spikerush ? Eleocharis macrostachya

Dwarf spikerush ? Eleocharis parvula

Hardstem tule ? Scirpus acutus (Schoenoplectus acutus)

Three-square bulrush ? Scirpus americanus (Schoenoplectus americanus)

Tule ? Scirpus californicus (Schoenoplectus californicus)

Low bulrush ? Scirpus cernuus (Isolepis cernuus)

Alkali-bulrush ? Scirpus maritimus (Bolboschoenus maritimus)

Rush family (Juncaceae)

Wire rush ? Juncus balticus (Juncus arcticus)

Toad rush ? Juncus bufonius

Black-grass ? Juncus gerardii

Iris-leaved rush ? Juncus xiphioides

Arrow-grass family (Juncaginaceae)

Creeping sea arro-grass ? Triglochin concinna

Sea arrow-grass ? Triglochin maritime

Lily family (Liliaceae)

Asparagus ? Asparagus officinalis

Grass family (Poaceae)

Australian bentgrass ? Agrostis avenacea

Saltgrass ? Distichlis spicata

Red fescue ? Festuca rubra

Hedgehog dogtail grass ? Cynosurus echinatus

Meadow barley ? Hordeum brachyantherum

Mediterranean barley ? Hordeum marinum ssp. gussoneanum

Creeping wildrye ? Leymus triticoides

Italian ryegrass ? Lolium multiflorum

Rabbit?sfoot grass ? Polypogon monspeliensis

Sicklegrass ? Parapholis incurve

Alaska alkali-grass ? Puccinelia nutkaensis

Cattail family (Typhaceae)

Narrowleaf cattail ? Typha angustifolia

Southern cattail ? Typha dominguensis

Broadleaf cattail ? Typha latifolia


Alaska alkali-grass: Puccinelia nutkaensis

alkali-bulrush: Scirpus maritimus (Bolboschoenus maritimus)

alkali-heath: Frankenia salina

alkali-weed: Cressa truxillensis

amaranth family: Amaranthaceae

arrow-grass family: Juncaginaceae

asparagus: Asparagus officinalis

aster family: Asteraceae

Australian bentgrass: Agrostis avenacea

Baltic rush: Juncus balticus (Juncus arcticus)

bird?s-foot trefoil: Lotus corniculatus

black-grass: Juncus gerardii

borage family: Boraginaceae

brass-buttons: Cotula coronopifolia

broadleaf cattail: Typha latifolia

broadleaf pepperweed: Lepidium latifolium

broomrape family: Orobanchaceae (traditionally Scrophulariaceae)

buckwheat: Polygonaceae

butterweed: Senecio hydrophilus

California sea-blite: Suaeda californica

canchalangua: Centaurium venustum

carnation family: Caryophyllaceae

carpetweed family: Aizoaceae

carrot family: Apiaceae

cattail family: Typhaceae

centaury: Centaurium venustum

chairmaker?s rush: Scirpus americanus (Schoenoplectus americanus)

clustered field sedge: Carex praegracilis

common fiddleneck: Amsinckia menziesii

common knotweed: Polygonum arenastrum

common spikerush: Eleocharis macrostachya

coyote-brush: Baccharis pilularis

creeping sea arrow-grass: Triglochin maritime

creeping spikerush: Eleocharis macrostachya

creeping wildrye: Leymus triticoides

curly dock: Rumex crispus

ditch-carrot: Oenanthe sarmentosa

dodder family: Cuscutaceae

dwarf plantain: Plantago elongata

dwarf spikerush: Eleocharis parvula

fat-hen: Atriplex triangularis (A. prostrate)

Frankenia family: Frankeniaceae

gentian family: Gentianacaea

golden dock: Rumex maritimus

grass family: Poaceae

hardstem tule: Scirpus acutus

hedgehog dogtail grass: Cynosurus echinatus

Hottentot-fig: Carpobrotus edulis x chilensis

hyssop-leaf loosestrife: Lythrum hyssopifolium

iceplant: Carpobrotus edulis x chilensis

iris-leaved rush: Juncus xiphioides

Italian ryegrass: Lolium multiflorum

jaumea: Jaumea carnosa

Johnny-nip: Castilleja ambigua

knotweed: Polygonum arenastrum

knotweed: Polygonum patulum

knotweed: Polygonum prolificum

lily family: Liliaceae

loosestrife family: Lythraceae

low bulrush: Scirpus cernuus (Isolepis cernuus)

Marin knotweed: Polygonum marinense

marsh ragwort: Senecio hydrophilus

Mason?s lilaeopsis: Lilaeopsis masonii

meadow barley: Hordeum brachyantherum

Mediterranean barley: Hordeum marinum ssp. gussoneanum

Mediterranean saltwort: Salsola soda

Menzies? fiddleneck: Amsinckia menziesii

morning-glory family: Convolvulaceae

mustard family: Brassicaceae

narrowleaf cattail: Typha angustifolia

New Zealand spinach: Tetragonia tetragonioides

northern salt marsh bird?s-beak: Cordylanthus maritimus ssp. palustris

Pacific aster: Aster chilensis

pea family: Fabaceae

pickleweed: Salicornia subterminalis (Arthrocnemum subterminale)

pickleweed, annual: Salicornia europaea

pickleweed, perennial pickleweed: Salicornia virginica (Sarcocornia pacifica)

pink family: Caryophyllaceae

plaintain family: Plantaginaceae

Point Reyes bird?s-beak (misnomer): Cordylanthus maritimus ssp. palustris

popcorn flower: Plagiobothrys bracteatus

poverty-weed: Iva axillaries

primrose family: Primulaceae

rabbit?s-foot grass: Polypogon monspeliensis

radish: Raphanus sativus

rattail plantain: Plantago coronopus

rayless smooth goldfields: Lasthenia glaberrima

red fescue: Festuca rubra

rose family: Rosaceae

rush family: Juncaceae

salt marsh dodder: Cuscuta salina

salt marsh fleabane: Pluchea odorata

salt marsh owl?s clover: Castilleja ambigua

salt rush: Juncus balticus (Juncus arcticus)

saltgrass: Distichlis spicata

saltmarsh baccharis: Baccharis douglasii

saltmarsh mulefat: Baccharis douglasii

saltmarsh sand spurrey, annual: Spergularia marina

saltmarsh sand spurrey, perennial: Spergularia macrotheca

San Francisco Bay gumplant: Grindelia stricta

sea arrow-grass: Triglochin concinna

sea dock: Rumex maritimus

sea-fig: Carpobrotus edulis x chilensis

sea-milkwort: Glaux maritime

seaside plantain: Plantago maritimus

sedge family: Cyperaceae

sicklegrass: Parapholis incurve

silverweed: Potentilla anserine

slender-leaf iceplant: Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum

slough mustard: Lepidium latifolium

smooth goldfields: Lasthenia glabrata

soft bird?s-beak: Cordylanthus mollis ssp. mollis

southern cattail: Typha dominguensis

spearscale: Atriplex triangularis (A. prostrate)

Suisun Marsh aster: Aster lentus

three-square bulrush: Scirpus americanus (Schoenoplectus americanus)

toad rush: Juncus bufonius

tule: Scirpus acutus

tule: Scirpus californicus (Schoenoplectus californicus)

water-parsley: Oenanthe sarmentosa

western dock: Rumex occidentalis

western goldernrod: Euthamia occidentalis

whitetop: Lepidium latifolium

wild beet: Beta vulgaris

wild celery: Apium graveolens

wild heliotrope: Heliotropium curassavicum

wire rush: Juncus balticus (Juncus arcticus)

yellow-rayed goldfields: Lasthenia glabrata

Regions Impacted: (See related documents in region)




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