RIVER OATS

FAMILY: Poaceae | GENUS: CHASMANTHIUM latifolium

TYPE
  • Perennials
  • Ornamental Grasses
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

Ornamental grass from moist woodlands of eastern U.S. Broad, bamboolike leaves form a 2-ft.-wide clump topped in midsummer by arching, 2- to 5-ft. flowering stems carrying showers of silvery green spikelets that resemble flattened clusters of oats (or flattened armadillos). These turn copper in fall, look good through winter; they dry to a greenish straw color and are attractive in dried arrangements. Clumps widen slowly and are not aggressive. Leaves turn brown in winter, when plants should be cut back almost to ground. Divide clumps when they become crowded and flowering diminishes. Stake if flowering stems sprawl too far. Self-sows extensively and can become invasive. To control spread, remove seed heads before they mature. 'River Mist' has leaves heavily striped in white; developing seed heads are white.

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