Inland sea oats is an attractive ornamental grass with large, graceful seedheads that start out green and gradually turn into different shades of brown. They are enjoyed by small mammals and birds. It does best in part shade or shade. It can handle some sun, but the more sun it gets, the more water it will need. It also tends to look bleached in full sun. It is relatively drought tolerant in the shade, and it tends to spread less in dry shade.
Inland sea oats spread aggressively by seed. To prevent spreading, cut the seed stalks before maturing. The flower stalks make lovely flower arrangements. New seedlings are easy to pull and can be controlled that way as well. Inland sea oats’ affinity to wander is a positive thing if you are looking to prevent erosion and stabilize the soil.
Inland sea oats pairs well with other shade-loving Texas native plants such as Turk’s cap, American beautyberry or pigeonberry.
AT A GLANCE
|Water use||Low, medium|
|Sun exposure||Part shade to shade|
|Bloom time||Ornamental seedheads summer through fall|
|Mature height||2-4 ft|
|Mature spread||3-5 ft|
|Host plant||Pepper and Salt Skipper, Bell's Roadside-Skipper, Bronzed Roadside-Skipper butterfly|
|Notes||Remove seedheads before maturing to prevent reseeding|