Chasmanthium latifolium, River or Wild Oats, Northern Sea Oats

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This beautiful, tall woodland grass grows in upright clumps and produces fresh green leaves that are held perpendicular at intervals on stiff, wiry culms (hollow stems). Spangled over drooping culms that stand well above the foliage, the eye-catching oat-like seed heads rustle and shimmer in the breeze.

Print Version:Chasmanthium latifolium, River or Wild Oats, Northern Sea Oats

Chasmanthium latifolium, River or Wild Oats, Northern Sea Oats Grass / Sedge Height: 2–5 feet Spread: 2–3 feet Bloom Color: Green then tan Characteristics Tall perennial grass in upright clumps Blue-green, arching, bamboo-like leaves with spikelets of flat, drooping, oat-like seed head Green summer spikelets mature to pink-copper Leaves turn yellow-gold to copper in fall Self-seeds; can spread vigorously Attributes Tolerates shade, salt, and Black Walnut No serious pests or diseases; deer rarely damage Winter interest Use in cut and dried arrangements Larval host for Common Roadside Skipper Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Average, well-drained Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Dry, Moist, Wet Sunnier sites produce brighter fall color but require more water Allow seed heads to ripen and stand through fall and winter; cut to ground in early spring Use in borders, in rain gardens, and to control erosion in shady areas; looks best planted in groups, lovely on slopes Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–8 It is native to DC, historical in the DE Piedmont and found in very few scattered pockets in PA. In VA, it is locally common throughout the mountains (low elevations), Piedmont and inner Coastal Plain and rare in the outer Coastal Plain. It is native to NoVA, except to Prince William County. Excellent Replacement for Cortaderia seelloana - Pampas Grass Melilotus officinalis - Sweetclover

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets