Ornamental grasses: Northern Sea Oats

Northern Sea OatsAnother plant that is a permanent fixture in my garden is Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium). It is an ornamental grass that behaves itself by not trying to take over the garden. Well, at least it doesn’t if I remember to trim off the seed heads by late winter!

Northern Sea Oats

What I love about this plant are two things: When the wind blows, the foliage makes a delightful rustling sound, and the arching seed heads are so pretty both in the garden and in arrangements. I love using the seed heads with their chevron-shaped seed clusters in floral arrangements during the summer because they add a lot of interesting texture and movement. The seeds turn a lovely bronze color in the fall and last forever when you pick them. I say forever because they don’t fall apart so you can keep them looking great for months.

Northern Sea Oats is hardy down to zone 3 so it’s a sure thing in our gardens year after year. The plants will grow to about 3 feet tall and aren’t picky about the soil type. They do appreciate regular watering, however.

If you want to look at close-ups of the two above photos, just click on them.