I’m not one of those people who say that seedheads are just as good as flowers. They’re not. But in the absence of flowers, seedheads can be pretty nice to have around.
River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), which used to be commonly called Northern Sea Oats, has particularly nice seedheads.
If only this plant weren’t such a beast when it comes to self-sowing. Part of my brain keeps thinking: cut off those seedheads before they scatter! And the other part keeps saying: not yet! They’re so pretty!
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) also looks pretty good.
It looks good with the brown buttons of Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa).
Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum) also gets a fetching new look in October, at least when backlit by the sun.
One advantage of seedheads: they tend to last a lot longer than the bloom time of flowers. It only makes sense to appreciate them while they are around.
‘Tis the season for seed heads for sure. All the different grasses and wildflowers have their own unique seeds. Not to mention the weeds we love to hate like Beggar Ticks and all the other “stick tights”.
Those I could do without.
I mostly agree. I like mixing flowers and seedheads in bouquets. To my mind, in some instances, the seedheads far outshine the flowers. But it’s nice to know that one follows the other, and that usually, you get both.
Outshine the flowers? I’ll have to think about that.
A gardener sees beauty in lots of things!
We really love seedheads here too, as they attract the birds into the garden. We loved the thistle seedheads late summer…. but regretted not mowing them down as I had so many thistle seedlings in the beds! But we got goldfinches coming, which outweighed the extra weeding 🙂 Your photos of the River Oats are lovely.
There’s a native thistle here that is not too aggressive. It’s hard to find, though.
I love those sea oats seed heads but that is one aggressive plant at least in my garden. I toy with the idea of ripping it all out. Then those seed heads entrance me and I don’t do the deed.
It is aggressive, for sure. Ripping it out isn’t easy, though. Even the seedlings are pretty tenacious.
They are definitely a more subdued pleasure than the actual bloom, but I like to see their little heads in the fall garden. And the birds like to eat many of them.
The birds, yes. Especially, around here, the goldfinches.
All great shots, autumn is nice with its low light. Our Inland sea oats (River oats, to you my friend) are beasts, but those seeds are well-worth it. Usually. 🙂
Yes, depends on how much time you’ve spent lately trying to pull out the seedlings.
I am a huge fan of grasses and seedheads so really enjoyed this post – thanks!
Glad you enjoyed it.
I love the seedheads too, and am feeling the same way about self-sowing of the mistflower I planted now as it seems to spread everywhere. But I think that beats wondering if it will grow. 🙂
I think so. I wish my mistflower would spread – so far no luck.
I love the river oats seed heads. I’ve never grown them.
They’re exceptionally beautiful.
I remember these from last year.
We share the inland sea oats, and I love them. I’m actually quite a fan of seedheads generally, especially American basketflower and the Silphiums. Rattlesnake master is another good one — every season has its delights.
When you say basketflower do you mean Gaillardia or something else?
Something different: this.
Oh, Centaurea! I always thought of those as Batchelor’s Buttons.
Same genus, but the bachelor button (or cornflower) isn’t native to the U.S., and the basket-flower is. The family resemblance is strong!
Thanks for putting the photo with the name of the grasses, that is a big help. ..I love the name (from shoreacres..comment above)…Rattlesnake master, that might translate to Python master in my part of Australia.
Rattlesnake Master is a very odd-looking plant, with little flowers like ping-pong balls.
Hello there Jason .. we have frost on the roofs this morning and -1 when I got up at 7:30.
So a good start to moving things along with the cut back and clean up of the gardens .. which will become more frantic for me no doubt ! haha
I absolutely love seed heads .. I leave as many for as long as possible not only because I love the look but the birds love the seeds from certain flowers , so that helps them out as well.
You have lovely pictures here … the sea oats especially ! So Beautiful !
I’m leaving most of my plants up until spring.
Those seedheads certainly shine out! Little jewels for sure!xxx
I love the panicum.
One of my favorites, though I think now I prefer ‘Shenandoah’ to the straight species.