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River Oats

Chasmanthium latifolium

Flattened, arching seed heads are pretty dried; seeds are wildlife food; good soil stabilizer



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Chasmanthium latifolium, commonly known as River Oats, Northern or Inland Sea Oats, Inland Wood Oats, and Uniolia latifolia is a perennial cool season grass, but it makes its seed in the fall. Its fibrous root system serves as a soil stabilizer in areas prone to erosion. The rhizomes (underground stems) often form colonies. River Oats propagates by seed, and it is wind pollinated. This grass prefers moist sites in sun or shade; however, it will grow on drier sites that are shady and will also grow under walnut trees.

Wildlife notes

River Oats seeds are eaten by a variety of birds such as quail and turkey and also by some rodents. Deer also relish the seeds and eat them directly off of the plant.  Deer and the caterpillars of several butterfly species eat the foliage.

Forage notes

This grass is highly palatable to livestock, and overgrazing can eliminate it from an area. It does well in moist soil areas in sun or shade, or in drier shady places as well. During winter, the brown foliage continues to be palatable (more so than many other species that are brown and dormant at the same time).

Landscaping notes

This grass is a beautiful ornamental species that grows well in shady locations. Its cool green summer color gives way to purplish bronze in fall. The flattened seedheads dance in the breezes of late summer and fall. It is a beautiful addition in a landscape and a great choice for fresh and dried flower arrangements.

Restoration notes

This species is naturally found in bottomland forests and creek and river bottoms that are shady or full sun. River Oats grows beneath a fairly heavy canopy of trees, but it will also grow in full sun when the soils are moist. River Oats is found on drier sites when there is more shade.

This plant is commonly used in the following mixes:

Buck’s Hangout, Companion Grass Mix – Shade, Companion Grass Mix – Wet, and Hide & Sneak.


More About This Plant

Top 5 Native Fall Favorites of White-Tailed Deer


Additional information

Weight N/A

Packet, Ounce, Pound


Full Sun to Part Shade

Seeding Rate

10.8 PLS lbs/acre


Average, Moist



Bloom Month

Jul, Aug

Specialty Uses

Wildlife, Landscaping

Cattle Palatability


# seeds/pkt


Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.