Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations were measured in Spartina alterniflora plants grown in pots of contaminated sediment, plants grown in native sediment at a marsh contaminated with up to 900 microg/g total PAHs, and from plants grown in uncontaminated control sediment. The roots and leaves of the plants were separated, cleaned, and analyzed for PAHs. PAH compounds were detected at up to 43 microg/g dry weight in the root tissue of plants grown in pots of contaminated soil. PAH compounds were detected at up to 0.2 microg/g in the leaves of plants grown in pots of contaminated soil. Concentrations less than 0.004 microg/g were detected in the leaves of plants grown at a reference site. Root concentration factor (RCF) values ranged from 0.009 to 0.97 in the potted plants, and from 0.004 to 0.31 at the contaminated marsh site. Stem concentration factor (SCF) values ranged from 0.00004 to 0.03 in the potted plants and 0.0002 to 0.04 at the contaminated marsh. No correlation was found between the RCF value and PAH compound or chemical properties such as logKOW. SCF values were higher for the lighter PAHs in the potted plants, but not in the plants collected from the contaminated marsh. PAH concentrations in the roots of the potted plants are strongly correlated with soil concentrations, but there is less correlation for the roots grown in natural sediments. Additional plants were grown directly in PAH-contaminated water and analyzed for alkylated PAH homologs. No difference was found in leaf PAH concentrations between plants grown in contaminated water and control plants.