Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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A common grass of dunes and beaches along most of the coast of Florida except for the big bend area. The range extends along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Delaware to Veracruz, Mexico, plus Cuba and the Bahamas.
Seaoats grow to over 2m (6-1/2 ft.) tall and spread mainly by the rhizomes as reproduction by seed is typically poor. The leaves are about 60cm (~2 ft.) long and up to 10mm (4/10 in.) wide. The inflorescence is an open, dense terminal panicle to 60cm long with arching branches, nodding when mature. The individual spikelets are typically 3cm (1-3/16 in.) long, golden brown when mature and laterally compressed (flat).
Wild sea oats are Federally protected because the extensive root system helps stabilize sand dunes against erosion. It is unlawful to pick sea oats - including the seeds.