opinion on chasmanthium latifolium please

sallym(z4 MN)December 16, 2004


I was just in Chicago and went to the Garfield Conservatory. I was the only one walking through the Monet Garden because most everything was cut down except for the lovely grasses. I saw chasmanthium latifolium 'Northern Oats' grass and think I need some back in Minnesota! I've read that it self seeds. Would you call it invasive? Any other comments/opinions?

Thanks in advance.


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It's listed as a self-seeder, but not invasively so. It's also listed for hardiness down to zone 5, so you may have to grow it in containers, and protect it over winter.

I started 1 clump this year, from wintersown seed, and it did very well, reaching 2' high in it's first season. It bloomed sparsely, but I know it didn't re-seed, since I harvested all the seed it produced.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2004 at 10:22AM
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sunburygirl(z5 OH)

love it! The seed heads dance in the breeze and it isn't invasive at all, in Ohio.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 9:47AM
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Even here in Zone 8 it doesn't selfseed very much, and is so wispy and lovely it is no problem. Makes a nice filler for bouquets, and also dries well. I pick some while seedheads are still green, then a few in pink stage, also the creamy-tans...just stand in vase with no water...dries perfectly. One of my favorite plants. josh

    Bookmark   December 20, 2004 at 6:02AM
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sallym(z4 MN)

Thanks so much for all your opinions. Feel free to keep em coming!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2004 at 9:21AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

It's native here and I have it in my shade garden. I would call it invasive in the garden--that is there are a blue million seedlings. But it is a very handsome grass and I have taken to cutting all the seed stems off the one plant I have and keeping them as a dried arrangement for the winter. People always admire it. Once spring starts coming on, I throw it out, and I know a new garden season has officially begun.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2004 at 7:12AM
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rubrifolia(7ish NYC)

here, coastal NYC, this beautiful grass does indeed become invasive & the roots are most difficult to dis-invite. grow with caution!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2004 at 1:39PM
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well_rooted(5, BC Canada)

Climate is a huge factor in whether a plant is invasive (by self-seeding) or not.

In colder climates the seeds may not have had a chance to ripen in the fall so they may not be viable


they may not survive the winter cold and hence will not be able to sprout in the spring.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2005 at 1:39PM
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I had a clump for five years before I moved from the home where we both lived. It stayed very compact, had many beautiful seed heads and did very well in our Ohio climate. Loved it.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2005 at 3:19PM
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I planted a couple North Sea Oats last spring/summer along with several other varieties of ornamental grasses for the first time. (My attempt at finding more deer-resistant plans for my garden.) Of all the varieties I planted (about 8 in all), N. Sea Oats is tied for my favorite one. My other favorite as Miscanthus "Adagio." N. Sea Oats seems to be one of the few grasses that thrives in the shade, which is another plus for the right area.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 1:40PM
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I am still pulling this ornamental grass variety up from plants that I had 3 years ago! This plant is very invasive in Delaware. If they are planted among other plants, you will see them sprouting in, around and through. To make the situation worse, they are very difficult to pull up. I wouldn't touch them again -ever. If you must, grow them in a separate bed, cut them before the seed gets detatched, and get some roundup ready.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 1:48PM
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I had two 2 years ago and lost one over the winter. There were no seedings from the surviving one last summer. I have it part-sun.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 7:25PM
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wyndyacre(z6B SW Ont.)

I have several clumps of N. Sea Oats in my gardens-it definetely self-seeds here but I don't mind because I dig all the seedlings up and sell them in my big spring plant sale.
I find them very easy to dig up(when they're 6-8" tall). The root system is shallow and very wirey-just slide a trowel under the plant to loosen and pull plant up with the other hand. They withstand handling and transplant into pots very easily-or of course you could just throw away.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 9:09PM
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AgastacheMan(z7 CA)

I enjoy my Chasmanthium lat. every year, especially in fall with the abundant color and seed heads. I have a large spread of this grass, and in the fall the qual love to nest in them....Plant the grass in clumps to have the greatest effect.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 3:27PM
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Mozart2(Zone 5 Michigan)


Just saw your posting and thought that I would make a very belated response.

I live in northwestern Michigan and recently decided to add a few ornamental grasses to one of our garden areas. Having been a long fan and frequent visitor to the wonderful Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, MO, I went to their plant finder section, which is part of their Kemper Center for Home Gardening and did a "search" on "ornamental grasses" - you'll find this link under "plant type" when you use their search engine and scroll down a bit to plant type.

At any rate, the link below will provide you with extensive and useful information on Chasmanthium latifolium, which is also apparently named "Inland Sea Oats". In reading their information in the "General Culture" section, they make the statement that this is "one of the more shade tolerant of the ornamental grasses. self-seeds and may become invasive."

Despite that statement, I found a souce for this plant and have planted two of them at the edges of our patio. Since the garden area around our patio area is covered by a heavy plastic woven barrier, I doubt that I'll have serious problems with it. If by chance I do, I'll simply take out a trowel, a pruner or whatever and "tame" it. ;>) Besides, I believe that it will become a treasured gem in the garden.

Manistee, MI is located on Lake Michigan and our winter temperatures are often moderated by the lake's water and so we are mostly located in USDA zone 6/5 - depending upon the severity of the winter.

Since you might be interested in making use of the MBO PlantFinder's information, I have noted a few other links below regarding some of the plants and flowers that are being considered for inclusion in our garden or have been planted as to date.

One of the plants (2 of them) that we planted in our garden this fall is Phlox paniculata 'Mount Fuji'. I've listed the informational link at the Missouri Botanical Garden below. If you look carefully, you will note several checked areas in several sections. I located this plant by simply using their search engine and checking a number of the characteristics that I wanted. In addition, you should also note that they offer a wide variety of local - for St. Louis gardener's - and online sources for the rest of us. Fortunately, I was able to locate this plant locally by just handing a print out of this page to one of our better local sources.


One of the peonies that I did consider placing in the garden this fall was Paeonia lactiflora 'Duchesse de Nemours', but choose instead to plant "Florence Nicholls", which I obtained from A & D Nursery.

Here's the link to the two peonies. The first is to the Duchesse and the second is to Florence and the third link is to a photograph of Florence. Thought you'd enjoy!!


http://www.adpeonies.com/ (You'll have to scroll down at bit to find her.


I mentioned both of these white peonies for another reason. I am using the "Chasmanthium latifolium" as a "dividng point" to separate the front of our patio garden from the sides.

I just hope that the "design" in my head actually turns out just as well in reality. ;>)

Hope you find these comments and this additional source of information more than useful in your gardening endeavors.


William Harrison, Librarian/Gardener/Photographer, etc. ;>)

Here is a link that might be useful: Missouri Botanical Garden - PlantFinder

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 11:03AM
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