Natives For Your Neighborhood is a labor of love and commitment. If you use this website, help us maintain and grow it with your tax-deductible donation.


Please scroll to the bottom for more images.
Uniola paniculata

Copyright by: Michelle Smith, 2022.

General Landscape Uses: Accent grass in sunny coastal locations.

Availability: Widely cultivated.

Description: Large herbaceous grass.

Dimensions: About 3-4 feet in height; to 6 feet or more when in flower. Spreading from underground stems and forming large patches.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Eastern and southeastern United States west to Texas and south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies and Mexico. Absent or very rare in the upper Florida Keys.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Beach dunes and open coastal areas.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Frontline; grows in direct salt wind but away from constant salt spray.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Light brown inflorescence.

Flower Characteristics: Showy inflorescence.

Flowering Season: All year; peak in summer.

Fruit: Inconspicuous light brown caryopsis. Primarily late summer to early fall.

Wildlife and Ecology: The most important stabilizer of sand on beach dunes. Most plants are established through vegetative reproduction.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed and division.

References: Hammer 2004, Nelson 2003

Comments: It is illegal to collect the flower spike or seed heads in Florida, without a permit. See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page and a 2022 post on the Treasure Coast Natives blog about the mysteries of the Sea-oat.

Copyright by: Michelle Smith, 2022.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Other data on Uniola paniculata available from:

Resources Links:
Find Native Plants!

Acknowledgements and past sponsors

Become a sponsor!

Major Sponsor:

Emergent Sponsors:

Canopy Sponsors:
Herbaceous Sponsors:

Jay Bird - @BotanizingBirdingButterflies

Florida Native Plant Nursery