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Inland Sea Oats

Chasmanthium latifolium

Other common name(s):

Indian Wood Oats, Wild Oats, River Oats, Flathead Oats, Upland Oats, Upland Sea Oats, Inland Seaoats

Family:

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Southern Texas Plains, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Carbonate Cross Timbers, Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain, Western Cross Timbers
Bastrop Lost Pines, Floodplains and Low Terraces2, Northern Post Oak Savanna, Northern Prairie Outliers, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland, Llano Uplift
Floodplains and Low Terraces4, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Southern Subhumid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Northern Nueces Alluvial Plains
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Flatwoods, Floodplains and Low Terraces3, Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces, Red River Bottomlands, Southern Tertiary Uplands, Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Grass & Sedge

Height

2
to
4
ft.

Spread

2
to
3
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Limestone, Calcareous, Poor Drainage, Moist

Light Requirement

Part Shade, Shade

Water Requirement

Low, Medium

Native Habitat

Woodland, Wetland or Riparian

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Green

Bloom Season

Summer, Fall

Seasonal Interest

Seeds, Forage, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds, Small Mammals

Maintenance

In the wild it is occasional to abundant in shade in moist sandy woods, most frequently along stream banks. Leave dry stalks for wildlife during the winter. Cut back dead stalks to 4″ before new shoots emerge. Seeds out and spreads if conditions allow. Seedlings are easily transplanted. If planted in too much sun, leaves turn yellow.

Comments

Good understory plant. Graceful, drooping wheat-like seed heads. Seeds are eaten by birds and rodents. Foliage provides cover for small mammals. Larval Host: Pepper and Salt Skipper, Bell’s Roadside Skipper, and Bronze Roadside Skipper. Replaces Invasives: Maiden Grass, Chinese Silvergrass.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym(s): Uniola latifolia

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CHLA5. 3) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Chasmanthium+latifolium&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=17947&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 5) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 128. 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=41547#null, 7) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014., 8) Hatch, Umphres, Ardoin, 2015, Field Guide to Common Texas Grasses, pg 96,, 9) https://rootedin.com/tough-texas-native-plants-for-shade-creating-a-cool-haven-before-the-heat/