Attractive, flattened seed heads will draw attention as they flutter in the wind. The seeds provide food for birds and small wildlife and can be used as grain or ground into flour. The caterpillars of certain butterflies and moths use river oats as a food plant.
River oats will easily spread by seed if given the chance and could be considered an aggressive spreader in ideal habitats. The plants turn a coppery bronze color in the fall, and leaving the plants alone until spring will provide winter interest and help insulate the crown of the plant.
Uses: butterflies, rain gardens, erosion, edible
Bloom time: July - August
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Space: 16 to 20 inches
Sun: Sun to medium shade
Moisture: Average to moist
Seed: Best germination can be achieved with a short period of cold, moist stratification. Sow outdoors by March or stratify with moist sand/potting soil in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 weeks.
- 5,625 seeds per ounce
- 1 ounce per 200 square feet