Friday, October 24, 2014

Yes another native plant


In 2009, the Texas legislature designated the third week in October as Texas Native Plant Week.

Today I celebrate Inland Sea Oats growing in the wild here on my property.

Inland Sea Oats (08/29/2014)
 This native plant is not about the flowers. 
It is all about the beautiful seed heads dangling from the long arching branches. 
Inland Sea Oats (10/21/2014)
 I have lots of them and have plans to bring some up into the gardens near the house. 
Inland Sea Oats in the wild

The following is from the Native Plant Database at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center:

Chasmanthium latifolium

Chasmanthium latifolium (Michx.) Yates

Inland sea oats, Indian wood oats, Wild oats, River oats, Flathead oats, Upland Oats, Upland Sea Oats

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Uniola latifolia

USDA Symbol: CHLA5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This is a 2-4 ft., clump-forming, perennial grass bearing large, drooping, oat-like flower spikelets from slender, arching branches. The blue-green, bamboo-like leaves often turn a bright yellow-gold, especially in sunnier sites, in fall.
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 inflower arrangements.
Inland Sea Oats Flower Spikelets

Inland Sea Oats Flower Spikelets

Inland Sea Oats Flower Spikelets

Inland Sea Oats Flower Spikelets and seeds
One of the things about this native plant that I really do love is the bamboo like leaves and the drooping arching branches.
Oh, that's two things. 
But most of all I love the seed heads.
I had to investigate.
One seed can be found wrapped inside each little paper-like husk.
So you know, the grid is ¼ inch.
I will probably transplant some and try planting seeds too. 

1 comment:

  1. I have those too. Wonder if they are edible, you know, in case of a zombie apocalypse.

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