River Oats - Chasmanthium latifolium
River oat plants are perennial grass that can provide ample ground cover in your garden or backyard. The plant grows well in various conditions; It can grow in moist soil, dry dirt, and partial shade. It thrives best in acid sands or clay with plenty of sun exposure. The ornamental grass is also frequently used to prevent soil erosion near streams and river banks, hence its recognizable name. Gardeners often utilize the plant's height and clustering characteristics to generate shade. It's a low-maintenance option that reseeds itself yearly. It can also spread over time to achieve a fuller and more robust appearance. Fully grown, the grass can reach up to four feet. However, this height is manipulated by one of the plant's most defining features.
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At the end of each branch of grass is a cluster of seeds. The resulting spikelet is reminiscent of oats. The panicles grow as a translucent green color in early spring before maturing into vibrant ivory in mid-summer. The seeds will dry up to a brown color in the following months before dropping off and reseeding the plant for a new life next year. The seed clusters weigh down the slender green branches to create an attractive archway in light breezes. Blue-green leaves complement branches. The leaves and accompanying branches can take on a bright yellow-gold color during autumn.
Seeds will attract wildlife to your property during their time on the plant. They're a favorite treat to numerous birds, rodents, and even deer. Deer will eat the grains right off the branch. River oats can bring life to wherever you choose to plant them. They're easy to establish and require little care. They're capable of providing you with a beautiful spring to fall backdrop. The individual seed stalks can also be preserved in beautiful flower arrangements.
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