Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This native perennial plant is 1½–4' tall and unbranched or little-branched. The slender culm is light green, glabrous, and terete (round in cross-section); several alternate leaves occur along its entire length. The leaf blades are up to 10" long and 1" across; they are linear-lanceolate, light to medium green, flat, and hairless. The leaf sheaths are light green, hairless to minutely pubescent, and open toward their apices. The ligules are conspicuously ciliate. The culm terminates in a panicle of spikelets about 4-12" long and about one-half as much across. The panicle is more or less erect, although its lateral branches and pedicels are drooping. Along the rachis (central stalk) of the panicle, there are 1-2 lateral branches originating from its nodes; each of these lateral branches terminates into 2-6 spikelets with pedicels. The rachis, lateral branches, and pedicels are light green, slender, and glabrous to minutely pubescent. Individual spikelets are ¾–1½" long, about ½" across, and strongly flattened; they are light green (while immature) and mostly glabrous. Sometimes the spikelets are tinted red along their margins near the tips of their lemmas. Each spikelet consists of a pair of glumes at the bottom and 5-15 lemmas above that are arranged in 2 overlapping ranks.  The lowest 1-2 lemmas in a spikelet are often sterile. The glumes are 5-7 mm. long, lanceolate in shape, longitudinally veined, and strongly keeled. The lemmas are 6-12 mm. long, ovate in shape, longitudinally veined, and strongly keeled; the sterile lemmas are smaller in size than the fertile lemmas. The keels of the lemmas are minutely pubescent. Each perfect floret of a fertile lemma has 2 stigmas,a single anther, and an ovary. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early autumn, lasting about 1-2 weeks. The florets are cross-pollinated by the wind. Afterwards, the spikelets become tan to reddish bronze; the lemmas disarticulate individually from their spikelets, while the glumes are persistent. Mature grains are 2–2.5 mm. long and flattened-lanceoloid in shape. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous; clonal colonies of plants often develop from the rhizomes. Cultivation
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Description

General: Grass Family (Poaceae). Chasmanthium latifolium (previously in the Uniola genus and commonly called broadleaf uniola) is a native, rhizomatous perennial often found in small colonies. The leaf shape and size are similar to many of the larger species of panic (Panicum species) grasses. The height of this grass and the inflorescence (seed cluster) somewhat resemble domestic oats; thus, the common name “wood, creek, or sea oats.” The weight of the seed heads causes the inflorescence to droop.

Stems are glabrous, relaxed and can reach heights of 1.5 m. Striated and glabrous leaves are found along the stem up to the base of the panicle. The leaves are broad (0.8 to 2.0 cm) and 10-20 cm long. Blade sheaths are small and glabrous. Panicles are open and drooping with relaxed branching. Spikelets have 9-26 florets and are broad and flattened. They range in lengths of 1.5-4 cm and widths of 1-2 cm. Glumes and lemmas overlap; however, the glumes are smaller than the lemmas. The glumes are 7-9 nerved, keels rough to the touch, and range in lengths of 5-8 mm. The lemmas are 9-15 nerved, keels rough to the touch, and range in lengths of 8-13mm. Paleas are 6-10 mm long with thin and dry margins. Caryopsis is flat, oval in shape and range in lengths of 4-5 mm.

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USDA NRCS Nacogdoches (TX) Technical Office and the National Plant Data Center

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Alternative names

Indian woodoats, broadleaf wood-oats, creek oats, Indian sea-oats, inland sea-oats, broadleaf uniola; Uniola latifolia

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USDA NRCS Nacogdoches (TX) Technical Office and the National Plant Data Center

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Inland Oats is common in the southern half of Illinois, but it is uncommon or absent in the northern half of the state (see Distribution Map). This is primarily a southern species as Illinois lies along the northern edge of its range-limit. Habitats include moist alluvial meadows, rocky slopes along streams, limestone glades, thinly wooded areas in river floodplains, moist woodlands, and woodland borders. Some local populations may derive from plants that have escaped cultivation. Faunal Associations
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Known from Arizona to Florida and Michigan to New Jersey. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

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USDA NRCS Nacogdoches (TX) Technical Office and the National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennials, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Rhizomes present, Rhizome short and compact, stems close, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems with inflorescence 1-2 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades lanceolate, Leaf blades 1-2 cm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Leaf blades more or less hairy, Ligule present, Ligule a fringed, ciliate, or lobed membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence an open panicle, openly paniculate, branches spreading, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence lax, widely spreading, branches drooping, pendulous, Inflorescence curved, twisted or nodding, Inflorescence branches more than 10 to numerous, Peduncle or rachis scabrous or pubescent, often with long hairs, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet 10-15 mm wide, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelets with 8-40 florets, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating be neath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes keeled or winged, Glumes 3 nerved, Glumes 4-7 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 5-7 nerved, Lemma 8-15 nerved, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma awnless, Lemma straight, Callus or base of lemma evidently hairy, Callus hairs shorter than lemma, Palea present, well developed, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Palea keels winged, scabrous, or ciliate, Stamens 1, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Inland Oats is common in the southern half of Illinois, but it is uncommon or absent in the northern half of the state (see Distribution Map). This is primarily a southern species as Illinois lies along the northern edge of its range-limit. Habitats include moist alluvial meadows, rocky slopes along streams, limestone glades, thinly wooded areas in river floodplains, moist woodlands, and woodland borders. Some local populations may derive from plants that have escaped cultivation. Faunal Associations
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Dispersal

Establishment

Propagation can be accomplished by allowing the seeds to mature and fall naturally or by plant division.

Chasmanthium latifolium is widely used in gardens throughout the United States. They seed and spread readily if the spikelets are not removed before the seeds mature. It should be fertilized once a year, preferably with a slow release 3-1-2 ratio. Since it may take up to three years for the plant to reach its optimum growth, new plantings should be spaced about 2 feet apart. The new plants should be given a sufficient amount of water throughout the first growing season. One inch of water per week is recommended, perhaps more during the dry, hot days of summer. Mulch before the winter and mow the grass in the early spring.

Adaptation: It inhabits areas along streams and water banks, shaded slopes and bottomland hardwoods. It flowers from June to October and is found in hardiness zones 4-10. In Texas, this species is very common on loamy, terrace soils adjacent to creeks, bayous and rivers in eastern Texas, particularly under a hardwood forest canopy. It becomes less common westward, although it is found under favorable conditions in the Edwards Plateau, Rio Grande Plains, and Southern Rolling Plains. It is quite common in river bottoms of the Western Gulf Coast Prairie. An abundance of Chasmanthium latifolium is usually a good indicator of a Class I or II soil; though, it will grow on wet natured clayey soils. It is never found on droughty sites. Some of the literature suggests that it is found in marshes and mud flats. However, stress appears to limit the colonies to 1-3 plants on wet sites, rather than the 10-30 plant colonies commonly found on better-drained sites.

General: There are 5-6 species of Chasmanthium in the U.S. and three in Texas. All are generally associated with forested ecosystems, but none resemble Chasmanthium latifolium. A similar species with regards to shade tolerance and vegetative growth habits, is savanna panic grass (Phanopyrum gymnocarpon). Older references refer to this plant as Panicum gymnocarpon. Phanopyrum occurs on very wet (ponded) sites and the inflorescence is completely different. Virginia wildrye (Elymus virginicus) in east Texas and Canada wildrye (Elymus canadensis) further west, commonly occupies similar forested sites but the seed head remains upright and the leaves of wildrye are clustered much more towards the base.

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USDA NRCS Nacogdoches (TX) Technical Office and the National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Chasmanthium latifolium

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Chasmanthium latifolium

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Status

In 2005, this species was considered threatened in Michigan. Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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USDA NRCS Nacogdoches (TX) Technical Office and the National Plant Data Center

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Management

Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

None known, though it is commonly available from selected seed companies and nurseries.

Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”

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USDA NRCS Nacogdoches (TX) Technical Office and the National Plant Data Center

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Indian seaoats prefers a rich, well-drained soil and partial shade, approximately six hours of sun each day. If spikelets are not removed before they mature, they propagate rapidly by seed. Indian seaoats have no known diseases associated with it.

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USDA NRCS Nacogdoches (TX) Technical Office and the National Plant Data Center

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Chasmanthium latifolium is best known for its ornamental uses. It is a desirable ornamental grass because of its flower color, drought, moisture, salt and shade tolerance. It is popular for its uses as cut flowers and for groundcover in partial or full shade. The flower heads may be cut and dried while the plant is green or when it has fully matured to its natural copper-brownish color. The plant persists through winter or until snow weighs it down.

The seeds have been noted as a source of food for birds and the leaves are a host plant for Linda’s Roadside Skipper (Amblyscirtes linda), a butterfly native to Oklahoma. Cattle will graze this species.

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Wikipedia

Chasmanthium latifolium

Chasmanthium latifolium, known as Woodoats, Inland sea oats, Northern sea oats, and River oats is a grass native to the southeastern United States and northeastern Mexico; it grows as far north as Pennsylvania and Michigan, where it is a threatened species.[1] The species was previously classified as Uniola latifolia (André Michaux).

Description[edit]

Chasmanthium latifolium is a warm season, rhizomatous perennial grass with stems about 1 m [3 feet] tall. The plant typically grows in wooded areas and riparian zones.[2]

Gardens[edit]

Chasmanthium latifolium, Northern sea oats

It is used in landscaping in North America, where it is noted as a relatively rare native grass that thrives in partial shade; the plant is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 3-9 in acidic sands, loams, and clays.[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chasmanthium latifolium (Indian Woodoats)". Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  2. ^ "PLANTS Profile for Chasmanthium latifolium (Indian woodoats)". PLANTS database. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  3. ^ "Northern Sea Oats - Ornamental Grasses - University of Illinois Extension". University of Illinois. 
  4. ^ "NPIN: Chasmanthium latifolium (inland sea oats)". Native Plant Information Network. University of Texas. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
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