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Plant of the Month: Chasmanthium

River Mist

Chasmanthium latifolium ‘River Mist’

Latin name: Chasmanthium latifolium ‘River Mist’

Common name: Variegated inland sea oats
Foliage: White and green variegated clumps
Flowers: Variegated seed heads
Mature size: 30-36” high with seed heads; 24-36” spread
Hardiness: Hardy perennial to Zone 4
Soil: Not choosy
Exposure: Light to full shade
Water usage: Low
Sources: Mail order or local nurseries

Our Texas native inland sea oats just got a makeover! Now you have a variegated choice to brighten shade patches in your garden. ‘River Mist’ is just as tough as the normally green version, but it makes its appearance with white-striped foliage and seed heads.

The arching plants will reach 3 feet tall and wide with seed heads, and can tolerate dry shade. I love it planted in masses, spotted into other groundcovers, or even taking center stage in shady containers. This variety does reseed, but the seedlings are solid green. I recommend removing them to prevent the vigorous solid green ones from taking the planting over.

This variety is still somewhat hard to find at local nurseries, but I’d still check to make sure.  If they’re not locally available, you can purchase them via mail order from Plant Delights.