Chasmanthium latifolium        Family: Poaceae
(kaz-MAN-thi-um  lat-ih-FOE-lee-um)
Common name: Northern sea oats, river oats
Zone: 3 – 8
Height: 3 – 4 ft (90 – 120 cm)     Spread: 2 – 3 ft (60 – 90 cm)
Aspect: Full sun; part shade; full shade
Soil: moist, fertile, well-drained
Water: average

Description: Clump-forming grass with light green lanceolate, bamboo-like foliage. Blades are 10 – 12 inches (25 – 30 cm) long and one-inch (2.5 cm) wide.  The above ground stems (called culms) support showy, spike-like panicles above the leaves. Each panicle consists of 7 – 20 flat, green-tinged spikelets. Each individual spikelet is one-inch (2.5 cm) long, flat in appearance and scaly. 


Special Notes: Native from the midwestern to eastern parts of the United States, this ornamental grass is one of the most drought and shade tolerant. While it prefers fertile soil conditions, it will thrive in all soils types and moisture conditions. Wonderful understory plant with an added benefit that it is tolerant of the toxic chemical juglone produced by black walnut (Juglan nigra) trees. Good coppery-brown fall colour in both foliage and seedheads.



Plant host to some caterpillars, particularly of the Northern Pearly Eye butterfly, and skipper species. Provides cover for birds and seeds for small mammals. Good plant for containers, in mass plantings and for erosion control. Excellent in dried flower arrangements and good winter interest. Deer resistant.








Posted on November 8, 2023