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Living Shorelines: Native plants for Beaches and Sand Dunes

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Plant Descriptions

Habit of Plant

Sea Oats

Sea Oats -
Uniola paniculata

Warm-season grass, height 3-6 ft, seed head is a large open paniclewith flat spikelets, seed heads become yellow-brown in late summer and fall

Sea Oats Habit


American beach grass - Ammophila breviligulata

Cool-season bunch grass with strong underground stems (rhizomes), height 2-3 ft, seed head is a spike-like panicle about 10 inches long appears in late July or August

Ammophila habit

Spartina Patens

Saltmeadow Hay -
Spartina patens

Warm-season grass, height 1-4 ft, spreads extensively by long slender rhizomes, leaves are drooping and wiry in appearance

 Spartina Patens Habit

Panicum Amarum 
Photo credit: USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

Bitter panicum -
Panicum amarum

Robust grass spreads slowly from short strong rhizomes to form open clumps, height of 7 ft, leaves are ¼ to ½ inch wide, 7-20 inches long, smooth without hair, bluish in color.

Panicum Amarum HabitPhoto credit: NBII.gov

sea oats sea oats habit Ammophila habit Spartina Patens Spartina Patens Panicum Amarum