Little information is available on biogenic elements (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur) and the ecological stoichiometric characteristics of plants in coastal wetlands. To investigate the contents of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur of plants, and their ecological stoichiometric characteristics in the Yellow (Huanghe) River Delta, plant samples were collected from two typical salt marshes (Suaeda salsa and Phragmites australis wetlands) during the period of from August to October in 2007, and the ratios of C/N, C/P, N/P, C/N/P and C/N/P/S were calculated. Results showed that during the studying period, plant C, N and P were lower than the global average values, and plant N and P were lower than the China's average values. Leaf C and S in Suaeda salsa were significantly lower than those in Phragmites australis (P < 0.05), and leaf N and P in Suaeda salsa and Phragmites australis showed no significant differences (P > 0.05). Average C/N ratios were 23.75 in leaf, 73.36 in stem, 65.67 in root of Suaeda salsa, and 33.77 in leaf, 121.68 in stem, 97.13 in root of Phragmites australis. Average C/N ratios of Suaeda salsa and Phragmites australis were all great than 25, indicating the salt marsh in the Yellow River Delta is an N limitation system. Average C/P ratios were 276.78 in leaf, 709.28 in stem and 1031.32 in root of Suaeda salsa, and 536.94 in leaf, 768.13 in stem and 875.22 in root of Phragmites australis. The average N/P ratios of Suaeda salsa were 12.92 in leaf, 10.77 in stem and 10.91 in root, and the average N/P ratios of Phragmites australis were 16.40 in leaf, 7.40 in stem and 6.92 in root, indicating the Suaeda salsa wetlands were N limited and Phragmites australis wetlands were N limited in August and P limited in October in 2007. The average C/N, C/P and C/N/P ratios in Suaeda salsa and Phragmites australis were higher than the global average values, indicating the lower quality of organic matter provided by wetland plants in the Yellow River delta.