A dominant grass of Atlantic coastal dunes. Utilized for initial stabilization in shoreline restoration projects. Tolerant of dry, sandy soils, great winds, hot temperatures, and high saline levels. This species harnesses the ability to turn its stomata on the leaf surface away from the wind, thus conserving moisture. Capable of producing up to 100 shoots per clump annually through rhizomatous spreading. These shoots send up erect, green leaves and long golden seed heads. Intolerant of shady conditions. Many shore bird species use this plant for cover and nesting habitat.