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Chasmanthium latifolium (Northern sea oats)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Chasmanthium latifolium

Northern sea oats

A versatile native grass with bamboo-like foliage and delightful nodding seed heads that rustle in the breeze from late summer to winter. It grows in most sites and is a quite vigorous groundcover when given consistent moisture and sun. It is better behaved in average garden conditions and in shade. A unique cut flower in fresh or dry arrangements.

Chasmanthium latifolium - 50 per flat Availability
Chasmanthium latifolium LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
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3 Feet


2-3 Feet


12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 5-8

Northern sea oats Interesting Notes

This clump-forming, upright, ornamental grass is a Missouri native plant which typically grows 2-5' and most often occurs in rich woods or rocky slopes along streams and on moist bluffs. This grass is perhaps most distinguished by the flat, drooping seed heads which hang in terminal clusters on thread-like pedicils from slightly arching stems. Seed heads will flutter when caressed by even the softest of breezes. Seed heads emerge green but turn purplish bronze by late summer. Bright green leaves (5-9" long) turn a coppery color after frost and eventually brown by winter. Excellent for dried flower arrangements. Common name of inland sea oats is in reference to the similarity of the seed heads to those of oats. This grass was once known as Uniola latifolia. - Missouri Botanical Garden

Chasmanthium latifolium Growing and Maintenance Tips

Chasmanthium latifolium is a great choice for stabilization of a stream bank or a shady hill. It is happiest in a moist, partly shady site, but in such a place it will roam rampantly. In a drier location it is kept in check, but still looks lovely. Excellent salt tolerance.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant
Cut Flower
Cut Flower
Salt Tolerance
Salt Tolerance

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
Landscape Plug™
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Summer
Green Infrastructure
Erosion Control
Native to North America
Propagation Type
Open pollinated
Grass Type
Warm Season