Tall Oatgrass (Elatius) is generally described as
a perennial graminoid.
not native to the U.S. (United States)
and has its most active growth period in the
The greatest bloom is usually observed in the
with fruit and seed production starting in the
spring and continuing until
not retained year to year.
Tall Oatgrass (Elatius) has a
moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a
moderate growth rate.
At maturity, the typical
Tall Oatgrass (Elatius) will reach up to
4 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of
Tall Oatgrass (Elatius) is not commonly available from nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by
It has a
moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have
Note that cold stratification is
not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below
medium tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.
Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.
Erosion control: Tall oatgrass is a useful conservation grass for cover and forage on surface mined lands and marginal pastureland.
Livestock: Tall oatgrass can be used for livestock forage beginning in its second growing season; however, it is not recommended as a major component of forage seedings as other grasses are superior for this purpose.
Arrhenatherum elatius, tall oatgrass, is a perennial, cool-season bunchgrass generally grown in Europe where it once was a component of the grasslands. Culms are erect, from 3 to 5 feet tall. Leaf blades, from 3/8 to 3/4 inches wide, are flat and rough to the touch. Seed heads are narrow panicles 6 to 10 inches long with long, twisted, angled, exposed awns.
Required Growing Conditions
Introduced from Europe in the early 1800s, tall oatgrass has become naturalized in meadows, fields, open ground, waste places, and roadsides from Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, and California. For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Cultivation and Care
Tall oatgrass is easily established, adapted to excessively drained low fertility soils, and compatible with legumes. A firm, weed-free seedbed is necessary for good stands. Spring seedings produce best results as the seedlings are not winter hardy. Seeding rates should range from 5 to 8 pounds pure live seed using hulled seed. Seed should be planted approximately 1/4 inch deep and cultipacked.
General Upkeep and Control
Apply lime and fertilizer according to soil test results when seeding and for maintenance. Use of herbicides in the establishment year to control broadleaf weeds will improve success of the planting. Mow or graze for control in subsequent years.
Pests and Potential Problems Tall oatgrass is highly resistant to disease and insects.
Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin) Seed is available from commercial seed producers.
Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA