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ARRHENATHERUM elatius

Image of Arrhenatherum elatius

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

ARRHENATHERUM elatius

Plant Common Name

Tall Oatgrass

General Description

Tall oatgrass is a perennial tufted grass. It is native to Eurasia but is widely introduced in North America, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand because it was originally planted as a pasture grass. It is now considered an invasive weed of old fields, prairies and natural meadows.

This prolific grass has medium green blades that are tall, upright, linear and rough to the touch. The inconspicuous pale green or purple flowers are produced in late spring and early summer and resemble oats. Oatgrass spreads by short rhizomes and stolons (under and above ground rooted stems that spread).

Tall oatgrass prefers full sun and moist soil but will grow in drier locations. In the heat of summer it may go dormant but will reappear in fall. Its dry leaves and seed heads are very flammable. Control tall oatgrass by mechanical means, mowing or cutting.

For more information about this plant’s invasive status visit the Global Compendium of Weeds at: http://www.hear.org/gcw/species/arrhenatherum_elatius.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-5' / 0.6m - 1.5m (4)

  • Width

    2'-10' / 0.6m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Light Green

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Tan, Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Yes

  • Self-Sowing

    No