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|Chasmanthium Syn. uniola latifolium|
|Northern Sea Oats, Spangle Grass|
|The photograph really does not do this delightful grass justice! Growing to a maximum of a metre or so (usually somewhat less), the erect stems resemble miniature bamboo in their growth habit. The seed heads are, however, quite different, being delicate, flat, diamond shapes - almost like spear heads - which hang from fine stems, nodding and catching the light beautifully (hence, I guess, the common name 'Spangle Grass'!). Unlike many grasses, Northern Sea Oats flourish in full or dappled shade, where their colour is a rich light-green. However, they are generally happy in a sunny spot, but the colour is a darker green. In autumn they turn a rich coppery-brown. A very useful plant for flower arrangements. Planted en masse, they make good ground cover. I have not found them to be invasive. The edible seeds, which are retained on the plant for months, are a good food source for birds.
NOTE: Ears contain few mature seeds, so I have removed the husks to isolate them. This is a very laborious task, hence the low seed count. However, on the plus side, dehulled grass seeds usually germinate more readily than those which are not!
|Sowing and/or growing instructions|
|Best sown direct from autumn to early spring, onto the surface of prepared soil, gently raking to just cover, as light aids germination. Alternatively, sow in pots in spring, barely covering with a sprinkling of sieved compost or fine vermiculite, under glass at 68F/20C.|