So, Can I Make Cookies From These?

Oats

Lots of oats.

Inland Sea Oats  (Chasmanthium latifolium), to be precise. When you have one plant, you eventually will have many Inland Sea Oat plants. That said, I like this plant–it’s one of my favorites. I like the bright green shoots that appear in spring and I love the beautiful green seeds that develop in early summer atop the stems that give this plant its name.

I anticipate the change of the seeds from bright green to a warm, toasty brown in late summer and fall.

Inland Sea Oats is a graceful and elegant addition to any garden.

This plant is a native perennial grass, especially useful in dry, shady gardens.  It grows from a base rosette to about two feet in height.   It’s not particular about its soil requirements. It has no disease or insects problems and is deer resistant.  Inland Sea Oats is often used as an erosion control measure because of its ability to spread and its beauty when planted in masses.  Usually considered a shade appropriate plant, I’ve often seen it in full sun.  In one of my gardens, this  group gets the late afternoon west sun,

and these handle the shade-for-most-of-the-day, then blast of hot, west sun, beautifully.

I think they’re especially lovely in the autumn, late-day sun.

Inland Sea Oats pairs nicely with Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior),

and with Giant Lirope (Lirope muscari ‘Evergreen Giant’).
A word of caution though for this lovely, tough grass:  It can spread.  Profusely.  Especially if you have a sprinkler system and/or a moist climate.  I maintain a tight leash on the Inland Sea Oats in my gardens by yanking errant seedlings out of the ground when I see them.  Because I don’t over-water, I’ve not found this plant to be too troublesome for me to control–if you don’t let them reseed, they are manageable.  However, without management, Inland Sea Oats can be aggressive and invasive.  When I first started working as the gardener at Shay’s Green Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden, one the first goals I had for the gardens was to reduce the number of Inland Sea Oats plants.  This plant hadn’t been well-controlled for quite some time, so it was everywhere.   There are still many groups of Inland Sea Oats in the Green Garden, but fewer than before and by ridding the garden of the excess, it gave me the opportunity to plant other perennials that were not showcased in that garden.  I’m not sure I’d recommend this plant to someone who isn’t committed to weeding it thoroughly at the beginning of the growing season. 
Inland Sea Oats can be a marvelous addition to the urban landscape.  It’s a xeric, beautiful and mostly low-maintenance native grass.  It complements many plants, especially evergreens.  Its one drawback is a tendency towards aggressiveness over time and that can be remedied with good garden maintenance.
 
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2 thoughts on “So, Can I Make Cookies From These?

  1. I also like this plant in my shady front yard and it takes a blast of sun in late summer too. At this point I’d like it to keep spreading, but that will probably change over time. The seeds make a nice sound in the wind. I added three variegated ‘River Mist’ plants to the mix this fall.

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