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Plicate Sweet-grass

Glyceria notata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Poaceae (Grass)
Also in this family:
Alpine Catstail, Alpine Foxtail, Alpine Meadow-grass, Annual Beard-grass, Annual Meadow-grass, Arrow Bamboo, Barren Brome Grass, Bearded Couch Grass, Bearded Fescue, Bermuda Grass, Black Bent, Black Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Moor-grass, Bog Hair-grass, Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass, Bread Wheat, Bristle Bent, Brown Bent, Brown Sedge, Bulbous Foxtail, Bulbous Meadow-grass, California Brome Grass, Canary Grass, Carnation Sedge, Cocksfoot, Cockspur, Common Bent, Common Cord-grass, Common Millet, Common Reed, Common Saltmarsh Grass, Compact Brome Grass, Corn, Couch Grass, Creeping Bent, Creeping Soft-grass, Crested Dog's-tail, Crested Hair-grass, Cultivated Oat, Curved Hard Grass, Cut Grass, Dense Silky Bent, Downy Oat-grass, Drooping Brome Grass, Drooping Tor Grass, Dune Fescue, Early Hair-grass, Early Meadow-grass, Early Sand-grass, False Brome Grass, False Oat-grass, Fern Grass, Fine-leaved Sheep's Fescue, Flattened Meadow-grass, Floating Sweet-grass, Foxtail Barley, French Oat, Giant Fescue, Glaucous Meadow-grass, Great Brome Grass, Greater Quaking Grass, Grey Hair-grass, Hairy Brome Grass, Hairy Finger-grass, Hard Fescue, Hard Grass, Harestail Grass, Heath Grass, Holy Grass, Hybrid Marram Grass, Italian Rye Grass, Knotroot Bristlegrass, Lesser Hairy Brome Grass, Lesser Quaking Grass, Loose Silky Bent, Lyme Grass, Marram Grass, Marsh Foxtail, Mat Grass, Mat-grass Fescue, Meadow Barley, Meadow Fescue, Meadow Foxtail, Meadow Oat-grass, Mountain Melick, Narrow-leaved Meadow-grass, Narrow-leaved Small-reed, Neglected Couch Grass, Nit Grass, Orange Foxtail, Pampas Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, Purple Moor-grass, Purple Small-reed, Purple-stem Catstail, Quaking Grass, Ratstail Fescue, Red Fescue, Reed Canary Grass, Reed Sweet-grass, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass, Rescue Grass, Rough Meadow-grass, Rush-leaved Fescue, Sand Catstail, Sand Couch Grass, Scandinavian Small-reed, Scottish Small-reed, Sea Barley, Sea Couch Grass, Sea Fern Grass, Sheep's Fescue, Silver Hair-grass, Six-rowed Barley, Slender Brome Grass, Small Cord-grass, Small Sweet-grass, Smaller Catstail, Smooth Brome Grass, Smooth Cord-grass, Smooth Finger-grass, Smooth Meadow-grass, Soft Brome Grass, Somerset Hair-grass, Sorghum, Spreading Meadow-grass, Squirreltail Fescue, Stiff Brome Grass, Stiff Saltmarsh Grass, Sweet Vernal Grass, Tall Fescue, Timothy Grass, Tor Grass, Tufted Hair-grass, Two-rowed Barley, Upright Brome Grass, Velvet Bent, Viviparous Fescue, Wall Barley, Wavy Hair-grass, Wavy Meadow-grass, Whorl Grass, Wild Oat, Wood Barley, Wood Fescue, Wood Meadow-grass, Wood Melick, Wood Millet, Yellow Oat-grass, Yorkshire Fog
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
180 centimetres tall
Ditches, marshes, meadows, riverbanks, waterside, wetland.

Green, no petals
Clusters of spikelets between 10-25mm long and 3mm wide.
The fruit is a caryopsis.
Perennial grass with bluish-green, tapered, hairless leaves. Leaf blades can be either flat or folded. Shorter than the very similar looking Floating Sweet-grass (Glyceria fluitans). Both species often hybridise and are frequently found growing near to one another.
Other Names:
Manna Grass, Marked Glyceria, Plaited Mannagrass.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Glyceria notata, also known as the manna grass, is a species of grass that is native to North America. It is a perennial grass that typically grows to be 1-3 feet tall. The leaves of the plant are flat and typically have a blue-green color. The plant produces spikes of small, drooping, greenish-white flowers in the summer, which turn golden brown as they mature. Glyceria notata prefers moist, wet soils and can be found growing in meadows, marshes, and along streambanks. It is an important food source for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. It is also used for erosion control, wildlife habitat, and as a forage grass for livestock.


Plicate Sweet-grass, also known as Glyceria notata, is a plant species that belongs to the family of Poaceae or grasses. It is a perennial grass that is native to North America, and it is commonly found in wetlands, marshes, and along the edges of streams and ponds. The plant is known for its unique appearance, which features long, slender leaves that are folded in a way that resembles pleats, giving it the name "plicate" sweet-grass.

The leaves of plicate sweet-grass are typically green, but they can also be tinged with purple or brown. They grow to be up to 3 feet long and about 1/2 inch wide, with a characteristic crease that runs down the center of each leaf. The stems of the plant can reach up to 6 feet tall, with flowering heads that are also pleated in appearance. The flowers are small and greenish in color, and they bloom from late spring to early summer.

Plicate sweet-grass is an important plant in wetland ecosystems, as it helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion. Its root system is extensive and helps to anchor the plant in place, making it an effective tool for controlling soil erosion caused by water flow. The plant also provides habitat for many species of insects and other wildlife, as well as serving as a food source for grazing animals.

In addition to its ecological importance, plicate sweet-grass also has cultural significance. The plant has been used by Native American tribes for a variety of purposes, including basket weaving, mat-making, and as a food source. The seeds of the plant can be ground into a flour that is used to make bread, and the stems can be used to make baskets and mats.

Unfortunately, plicate sweet-grass is at risk in some areas due to habitat loss and degradation. Wetland ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to human activities such as development and agriculture, and many of the areas where the plant grows have been drained or otherwise altered. Additionally, the plant is sometimes threatened by invasive species, which can outcompete it for resources.

Conservation efforts are underway to protect plicate sweet-grass and its habitat. These efforts include restoring wetland ecosystems, managing invasive species, and monitoring the health of plicate sweet-grass populations. By working to protect this important plant species, we can help to ensure the health and stability of wetland ecosystems and the many species that depend on them.

Plicate sweet-grass is a valuable species not only for its ecological and cultural importance, but also for its potential uses in restoration and land management. The plant is often used in wetland restoration projects because of its ability to stabilize soil and its tolerance of waterlogged soils. It has also been shown to be effective in phytoremediation, which is the use of plants to remove pollutants from soil and water. Plicate sweet-grass has been found to absorb heavy metals and other contaminants from contaminated soil and water, making it a promising tool for environmental cleanup efforts.

Another interesting aspect of plicate sweet-grass is its ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The plant is known to have high genetic diversity, which enables it to survive and thrive in different types of wetland habitats. In a changing climate, this adaptability could be especially valuable as wetland habitats shift and change over time.

As with many plant species, plicate sweet-grass is also being studied for its potential medicinal properties. The plant contains a variety of compounds, including flavonoids and other antioxidants, that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. While research in this area is still in its early stages, plicate sweet-grass has the potential to be a valuable source of natural medicines.

Plicate sweet-grass is a unique and valuable plant species that plays an important role in wetland ecosystems and in human cultures. By working to protect and conserve this species, we can help to ensure the health and stability of wetland habitats and the many species that depend on them. Additionally, we can explore the potential uses of plicate sweet-grass in restoration, land management, and medicine, further demonstrating the value of this remarkable plant.

Plicate sweet-grass is a plant species that is widely distributed across North America, with populations found in many different states and provinces. The plant is particularly common in wetland habitats in the northeastern and midwestern United States, but it can also be found in parts of Canada and the western United States.

Despite its widespread distribution, plicate sweet-grass is considered to be a species of concern in some areas. In some states, it is listed as a threatened or endangered species due to habitat loss and degradation. Habitat loss is particularly a concern in areas where wetlands are being drained or converted to other uses, such as agriculture or development.

To help conserve plicate sweet-grass and its habitat, a variety of management and conservation strategies have been developed. These strategies include:

  • Restoring and protecting wetland habitats: Many conservation organizations and government agencies work to restore and protect wetland habitats where plicate sweet-grass grows. Wetland restoration projects can involve activities such as re-establishing natural water flow, planting native vegetation, and removing invasive species.

  • Controlling invasive species: Invasive species, such as purple loosestrife and reed canary grass, can outcompete plicate sweet-grass for resources and reduce its habitat quality. Management efforts to control invasive species can help to protect plicate sweet-grass and other native species.

  • Monitoring populations: Regular monitoring of plicate sweet-grass populations can help to detect changes in population size, health, and distribution. This information can be used to guide conservation efforts and ensure that the species is being effectively protected.

  • Promoting public awareness: Education and outreach efforts can help to raise public awareness about the importance of wetlands and the species that depend on them, including plicate sweet-grass. By building support for wetland conservation and management, we can help to ensure the long-term survival of this important species.

In conclusion, plicate sweet-grass is a unique and valuable plant species that plays an important role in wetland ecosystems and in human cultures. By working to protect and conserve this species, we can help to ensure the health and stability of wetland habitats and the many species that depend on them. A combination of management and conservation strategies can help to protect plicate sweet-grass and ensure its survival for future generations.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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