You are welcome to visit the
Native Plant of the Week
at 4020 Dunston Avenue.
The featured plant will be in the front yard
and will be marked.
Common Name: Indian wood oats, River oats, Inland sea oats
Scientific Name: Chasmanthium latifolium
General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches 2-4 feet in height. Grass blades are green and about 1 inch in width. Seed heads form on decorative “drooping” stalks that turn from green to gold in late-summer/fall.
Habitat: Indian wood oats prefers moist soils and partial shade. It is commonly found along stream and river edges where it is partially shaded by trees. Indian wood oats can tolerate full shade but not full sun.
Additional information: Indian wood oats is a host plant for the caterpillars of several species of butterflies and the seeds are eaten by birds. If you ever canoe/kayak on Virginia rivers in late summer or fall, look for this distinctive plant along the banks. The plants in this garden were started from seeds collected along the Pamunkey River in September. Indian wood oats is particularly easy to start from seed and is a great alternative to non-native invasive ground covers such as English ivy, monkey grass, and periwinkle. In addition, the tough fibrous roots of Indian wood oats make it great for erosion control on banks.