Arrowgrass, courtesy of William and Wilma Folette @ USDA NRCS PLANTS Database
William & Wilma Follette @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. 1992. Western wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. West Region, Sacramento.
Common Name(s):

Seaside Arrowgrass

Scientific Name(s):

Triglochin maritima L.

Scientific Name Synonyms:

Triglochin elata Nutt.
Triglochin elatum
Nutt., orth. Var.
Triglochin maritimum L.




Life Span: Perennial
Origin: Native
Season: n/a


Growth Characteristics:Arrowgrass is a wandlike herbaceous, obligate wetland plant 12-40 inches tall with rhizomes. Stems are closely tufted on a proliferating rhizome. Reproduction is from rhizomes and seed. Growth starts in early spring and flowering occurs June-August.

Seedhead:Rather inconspicuous flowers on short pedicels are green and may be several to many, spaced along a spikelike raceme. Fruits are almost cylindrical, up to 1/4 inch long and fall from the plant at maturity.


Leaves:Leaves are linear, 3-8 inches long, narrow and flattened or channeled. Short (less than 1/4 inch), membranous, entire or slightly bilobed ligules are present at the sheathing base.  

Ecological Adaptations:

Arrowgrass is widely distributed in Utah and is found in wet alkaline lowlands, meadows and swamps at elevations from 4,200-8,800 feet. It is tolerant of saline and alkaline conditions. 


Soils: Found in wet soils, and is toleratant of anaerobic conditions common in wet mineral and organic soils.  

Associated Species: Associated species in Utah include wet meadow and wetland plants like Baltic rush, Nebraska sedge and red top.

Uses and Management:

Arrowgrass is occasionally confused with rushes because it is rather inconspicuous and occurs in the habitats often dominated by them. It contains hydrocyanic acid, especially when drought- or frost-stressed, which makes it highly toxic to livestock, even in relatively small amounts ingested (≤¼ pound). It is a common component of wet meadows that are cut for hay. Arrowgrass in cured hay has been reported to cause poisoning in young animals.