Botanical Name: Chasmanthium latifolium
Common Name: Northern Sea Oats  
Plant photo of: Chasmanthium latifolium
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Water Saving Tip:

Fix leaking sprinklers, valves, and pipes.

One broken spray sprinkler can waste 10 gallons per minute - or 100 gallons in a typical 10 minute watering cycle.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Perennial, Grass


Height Range



Flower Color

Gold, Green


Flower Season

Summer, Fall


Leaf Color



Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Half, Shade



Medium, High


Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Poor, Well-drained, Moist


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

English Cottage, Formal, Meadow, Mediterranean, Ranch, Spanish, Water Garden, Wetlands, Woodland


Accenting Features

Showy Flowers, Silhouette


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Entry, Perennial Border, Shrub Border, Foundation


Special Uses

Cut Flowers, Hedge, Mass Planting, Naturalizing


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
Photographer: Steve Mullany/Dowsett
  • Description

  • Notes

A beautiful ornamental grass known for it's showy, drooping seed heads and it's lush green foliage. Grass greens up mid spring, turns a lovely copper color in fall, eventually changing to brown during the winter. The seed heads look like flattened rattle snake rattles, and emerge green, turning to tawny brown in the summer. Very persistent into the winter months. Place in the garden where it will be back lit by the late day sun, where it will illuminate the seed heads. A lovely summer through winter silhouette. Grows 2 to 3 feet tall and wide.
Grow in full sun to filtered light. In our hot, dry summers, Northern sea oats appreciates a bit of extra water. Alternatively, grown in part shade and it will require less water. Grows in any soil , except the most sandy. Cut back in late winter (see Guides). It may self-seed; a benefit or annoyance, depending on your approach to gardening.