Danthonia californica

California Oatgrass

Plant Type: Grass
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Regular.Occasional
Height X Width: 2' X 2'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



California oatgrass is one of those plants that should remind us of what our neighborhoods looked like in 1750. It grows as a small bunchgrass in open areas, preferring areas with high seasonal moisture which receive substantial cooling from the Pacific. Those are the areas also favored for both agriculture and urban sprawl, of course. The blades are wide and deep green. Like so many of our grasses, California oatgrass is a cool season grower and so will look its best from February to June. Sometime in the spring it will send up multiple nodding flower stems that mature to the tan seed heads which inspired this grass’s common name. Although naturally dormant in the summer and early fall, California oatgrass responds well to summer water. This is a natural choice for a meadow planting.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen