Thursday, June 9, 2011

Northern Sea Oats

Chasmanthium latifolium ( Northern Sea Oats )
A fast growing, sturdy, upright, clump forming perennial grass, reaching up to 6 x 5 ( rarely over 4 ) feet, that is native to eastern North America where it grows in open woodlands, stream banks and even on sand dunes ( most commonly on wooded floodplains under hickory and oak ). It is endangered at the northernmost extent of its range in Michigan and Pennsylvania, is more common further south to the Gulf Coast.
The bamboo-like foliage ranges from bright green in full sun to deep green in shade.
The leaves are up to 9 x 1 inches. The foliage turns to golden-yellow during mid autumn, then drying to coppery-tan color after the first freeze remaining attractive well into the winter.
The attractive, drooping flowers are borne during summer. They are followed by seed heads that remain attractive well into winter ( many people cut these off to prevent self seeding ).
Hardy zones 2 to 8 on moist but well drained soil. It is heat tolerant if grown on fertile moist soil. Thrives in part shade and can tolerate sun though foliage is a deeper green in the shade. Resistant to deer, drought, salt and wind. Cut back to close to groundlevel during early spring to make room for new growth. Local seed source usually grows better locally. Propagation from seed is easy and on some sites it may self seed prolifically.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on June 15 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 31 2011 in Hyde Park, NY

* photo taken on Aug 1 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

* photos taken on July 15 2015 in Columbia, MD

'River Mist'
Arching and spreading in habit, reaching up to 3 x 3 feet, with green foliage that is boldly striped white. Great for brightening a shady corner. Also a great choice for containers.
The oat-like dangling seeds are pale purple.

* photo taken on May 17 2012 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on July 17 2012 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on July 11 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 20 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 15 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 14 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 27 2017 in Columbia, MD

Chasmanthium laxum

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC

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