American sloughgrass (Beckmannia Syzigachne) is characteristically found in damp habitats such as wet ground or shallow water and at the margins of ponds, lakes, and streams but may also grow along ditches. It is considered a good forage grass (Tzvelev 1983), but it typically grows in sites that would be easily damaged by grazing. Its Iowa distribution is limited to the furthest northwestern counties, in the lake district, where the species can be seen in flower from mid-June to August. Despite its common name here, this species is native to both North America and Asia. This species is readily distinguishable from all other wetland grasses by the strongly flattened spikelets that are round in side view and tightly packed in two rows along the branches of the flowering head. American sloughgrass is a very attractive species that probably deserves horticultural consideration for planting in wetter areas; at least in Russia, this species is also noted for its tolerance of high soil salinity (Tzvelev 1983).
|Soil Moisture||Wet, Wet Mesic|
Summer, Fall July, August, September
|Max Height||2 feet|
|Seeds Per Ounce||50,000|
Edible Uses: Seed - cooked. A mild flavour, it can be ground into a flour and used as a cereal. The seed is very small but is easily harvested. It does then have to be separated from its husk, which is a very fiddly operation. Some N. American Indian tribes burn the husks of grass seeds.
Medicinal Uses: Unknown
Other Uses: The plant is used for making bedding and pillows.
Herbal Uses: Unknown