Inland sea oats
Three- to 5-foot, loosely clumping grass with a graceful, drooping head and slender, bright green leaves. Seeds are produced in a distinctive, oat-like shape, often making it a favorite to bird-watchers and naturalists eager to introduce gardeners to new, interesting plants. The oat-shaped seed heads display an attractive ornamental quality, and when eaten and fertilized increase the rich black topsoil they produce. July and August is best to plant. Otherwise direct seed (with-the-soil) in fall or spring. Common name Scientific name Origin Introduced Variety Soil Conditions Sunny site Moist to very moist fertilizer-rich, alkaline soilSow seed after danger of frost (with-the-soil) in fall or
Very popular as a low-maintenance shade grass, Inland sea oats is notable for its large, graceful seedheads. Sending up blue-green basal leaves in earliest spring, it can be 2 feet tall and a vivid green by May, with translucent green seedheads swaying in the breeze. By mid-summer, the seeds will have turned an attractive ivory and will turn brown in a few months before dropping off. It passes through most of winter a soft brown, but becomes tattered and gray by February, a good time to cut it back to the basal rosette. It reseeds easily and can expand aggressively within a couple of years, making a solid mat in moist loams. It has been used to prevent soil erosion along streams. The seed stalks are attractive in flower arrangements.
Elegant and lush during the hottest time of the year, Inland Sea Oats grass is drought-tolerant, requiring little irrigation. In my gardens, soaker hoses lie along the root zone of most, though not all of my Inland Sea Oats groups and receive irrigation once or twice/month. I grow several groups that receive no irrigation at all and they endure our long, hot summers just fine. In fact, it’s a greater problem if the Oats are over-watered. If watered regularly and year round, a greater percentage of Oats seeds will germinate, thus plenty of seedlings develop. This might be desirable in a spot where immediate erosion control is desired, but probably not for most home garden situations. I remove those seedlings which grow in unwanted places in my gardens, (Source: mygardenersays.com)