More Information About Chasmanthium
The genus Chasmanthium is a small genus with just 6 species of native ornamental grasses. The common name 'northern sea oats' comes from the similarity of Chasmanthium seed heads to real sea oats (genus Uniola).
Of the 6 species, only Chasmanthium latifolium is commonly cultivated. These native grasses feature very textural and ornamental seed heads that droop down from the arching stalks. Northern Sea Oats seed heads look great in the garden as well as in flower arrangements. The variegated chasmanthium latifolium adds a beautiful cream and green leaf to the mix too. The dangling seed heads provide 3 seasons of interest...summer, fall, and even in winter when they turn tan.
Northern Sea Oats looks best with consistently moist but well-drained soil, and part shade, making it one of the best shade grasses for the garden. It is also salt tolerant so coastal gardeners can grow it. It is drought-tolerant, and deer-resistant, but birds like to eat the seeds.
Where happy, Northern Sea Oats will self seed and spread via rhizomes into a mat of foliage which you should mow down every spring to rejuvenate.