Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chasmanthium latifolium 'River Mist'

Northern Sea Oats has long been one of my favorite grasses. It's incredibly adaptable, tolerating full sun to shade and well drained to heavy soil. It can grow nearly anywhere! In sun it stands 2-3' tall with bright green leaves. In the shade it grows 3-4' tall and tends towards darker foliage. In the fall it gets beautiful flattened spikelet seedheads that hold up into February. It can be a prolific self-seeder, but this has only been a problem for me in well-drained soils.

This wonderful grass has recently been made even better with the introduction of 'River Mist' from ItSaul plants in Georgia. This new variety has beautiful white variegation and white seedheads. I've been amazed by the incredible growth rate of 'River Mist', I expected it to be much slower considering how much white area the leaf contains. It also seems to have darker foliage, even in the sun which may account for the good growth rate. This variety will certainly brighten up a spot in a partially shaded garden, or provide contrast with dark-leaved plants in the border or container. FANTASTIC!

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