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Northern Sea Oats

Chasmanthium latifolium

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Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Chasmanthium latifolium in fall

Chasmanthium latifolium in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Chasmanthium latifolium flowers

Chasmanthium latifolium flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Chasmanthium latifolium

Chasmanthium latifolium

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  30 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Uniola latifolia

Description:

This grass is grown for its lovely drooping hop-like seed heads that flutter in the wind; the seed heads mature to a purple-bronze color and make a nice accent when left on through the winter; use for fresh and dried flower arrangements

Ornamental Features

Northern Sea Oats is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It produces abundant clusters of purple hop-like fruit from late summer to late fall. It grassy leaves are light green in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous coppery-bronze in the fall. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Northern Sea Oats is an herbaceous perennial grass with a shapely form and gracefully arching stems. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Northern Sea Oats is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Northern Sea Oats will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

Northern Sea Oats is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Edging  Garden  Naturalizing  Container 
Applications
Fruit  Fall Color  Plant Form  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features