Chasmanthium latifolium

Sea Oats

Latin name: Chasmanthium latifolium
Common name: Sea oats
Flowers: Green blooms in August and September, look good when dried12
Fruit: Inconspicuous or not showy is an option
Height & Width: 2-5 feet high, 1-2.5 feet wide12
Type: Herbaceous perennial10
Habit: Upright, clump forming12
Wetland indicator category: FAC in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains, and FACU in the Eastern Mountain Piedmont
Texture: Coarse12
Growth rate: Medium12
Light: Full sun to part shade12
Moisture: Medium to wet12
Soil: Acidic soils, sand, loam or clay, poor drainage is okay10
Zones: 3 to 812

Sea oats

Origin: Across the southern US and stretching north to the great lakes region16

Ecosystem benefits: Small mammals and some birds eat seeds, mammals graze on leaves, stems and leaves used for bird’s nests, attracts butterflies, prevents soil erosion along streams10

Features: This upright ornamental grass has bright green foliage in the summer that turns a coppery bronze in the fall and winter. If foliage is left, this species provides good winter interest with its good texture. Sea oats also produces attractive drooping, flat seed heads that can be used in dried flower arrangements.12

Siting: This species is great as a border or in naturalized areas as well as along streams and water gardens. Can also be used as an accent plant.12

Care: Plant crown at soil level18. At planting, water the roots and surrounding area slowly and deeply. Keep soil moist until plant is established, then apply enough water to thoroughly moisten the root zone when the soil is dry or during drought. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the plant stems18. This low maintenance species does well in full sun to part shade and tolerates poor soils, but may need staking or other support. If foliage is left in place over winter, cut back in early spring12.

Sea oats

Pests: No serious pest or disease problems12. Plants are relatively pest resistant if cultural preferences are met.

This plant does not appear on the following invasive plant lists on (February 25, 2016): enter date searched and check the lists that were examined
USDA SC Invasive Plant Species Web site at

SC Exotic Plant Pest Council Web site at

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