Can You Name This Plant?

This plant’s common name suggests a breakfast cereal and a coastal plant, though the grass thrives across much of the continent. And you don’t eat it, even with raisins and brown sugar. The cultivar name refers to water.


Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), a perennial grass native to North America, is a favorite among gardeners for its delicate spangles of oat-like seed heads on nodding stems. The variegated cultivar ‘River Mist’ (pictured here) is a newer variety. To the charms of the species, it adds dazzling green and white stripes on the leaves. Seed heads of white and palest green turn bronze in autumn. Grows 30 to 36 inches tall. Zones 5 to 9.