Chasmanthium latifolium (Northern Sea Oats) [25 Seeds]


Germination Information: The easiest approach is to surface-sow (do not cover) the seeds in fall to late winter, setting them outdoors in a spot protected from mice so they can get a chilling period and then germinate when conditions are right in spring.

If you sow after February, set the pot in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for about 2 months before moving it to a warm, bright place for germination. (Remove the bag if the pot will be exposed to any direct sun.)

Transplant the seedling (in groups) to individual pots when they’re 1 to 2 inches tall. Use groups of 6 to 8 or so if you want bigger clumps faster, or 3 to 5 per pot if you want a larger number of starter plants.

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Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium, formerly Uniola latifolia) is a 3- to 4-foot-tall, perennial grass with flattened flower- and seedheads in summer and fall. The dangling heads look terrific in fresh or dried arrangements, adding a playful touch as they nod and sway with the slightest movement.

Be warned, though: While the plants of this U.S. native grass are clump-forming, they will self-sow freely in the garden. For that reason, you might want to consider keeping northern sea oats in a meadow planting or “wild garden,” where it can seed around without being a problem, or in a tough site where daintier plants don’t thrive (in a roadside planting, for instance). Or, commit to cutting off the seedheads in mid- to late fall. Full sun to partial shade. Perennial; Zones 4 to 9.

Harvested in October 2020. At least 25 seeds.


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