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Salt Couch

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Salt Couch photos

Scientific Name:Sporobolus virginicus
Salt Couch plant
Salt Couch
Photo: A J Brown

Other Common Name:

Marine Couch


Native to Australia but also common around the coastlands of all warm-temperate and tropical countries.

Plant Description:

Perennial grass with long rhizomes and erect tufts to 20 cm high; bright green leaves arranged in two opposite rows, rigid, smooth, hairless but with hairs at the base of the blade and ligule to 0.5 mm long with a row of short hairs, blade to 5 cm long, inrolled in upper part and sharply pointed but not prickly.

Inflorescence, a narrow spike-like panicle, 1-6 cm long and 4-9 mm wide. Spikelets 2-3 mm long, shiny, leaden-grey, single flowered.

Common to coastal marshes but scattered on saline flats, swamp edges and drainage lines in the western part of the Victorian Volcanic Plain, the Dundas Tablelands and into the southern Wimmera.

RegionSalinity ClassWaterlogging Class
Wimmera, Western, GippslandS2, S3, S4W2, W3


Similar to the inland grass,
Rat’s-tail Couch (S. mitchellii) but is more salt tolerant. Also has a similar appearance to Australian Salt-grass (Distichlis distichophylla) but doesn’t have the very regular ‘fish-bone’ leaf arrangement or the prickly leaves of that species.

See Comments under Australian Salt-grass (Distichlis distichophylla) for leaf differences between this species and other similar creeping grasses.

Salt Couch Photos

Salt Couch - plants
Salt Couch plants
Photo: A J Brown
Salt Couch - plants
Salt Couch plants
Photo: A J Brown

Salt Couch - leaves
Salt Couch leaves
Photo: A J Brown

Salt Couch - mature spike
Salt Counch mature spike
Photo: A J Brown

Salt Couch - stolons
Salt Couch stolons
Photo: A J Brown

Salt Couch - flowering spike
Salt Couch flowering spike
Photo: A J Brown

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