Sea Oats, Uniola paniculata
side image of gopher tortoise opening its mouth. Figure 4 from  Wildlife of Florida Factsheet: Gopher Tortoise: WEC396/UW441, 8/2018
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Dune Restoration Plants
Poaceae (taxonomic family)

How to Cite

Miller, Debbie, Mack Thetford, Chris Verlinde, Gabriel Campbell, and Ashlynn Smith. 2018. “Sea Oats, Uniola Paniculata: SGEB-75-25/SG186, 9/2018”. EDIS 2018 (5). Gainesville, FL.


Sea oats occur throughout Florida on beach dunes and beaches and on coastal areas west to Texas and north to Maryland. Sea oats are vital dune builders that accumulate sand and prevent erosion due to wind, waves, and large storms. As sand is trapped by the long leaves of sea oats, vertical growth is stimulated, and rooting occurs at the buried nodes. This plant is extremely drought- and salt-tolerant, grows up to the high tide line of beaches, and propagates both vegetatively and by seed in the wild (Shadow 2007).

This publication is derived from information in SGEB-75/SG156, Dune Restoration and Enhancement for the Florida Panhandle, by Debbie Miller, Mack Thetford, Christina Verlinde, Gabriel Campbell, and Ashlynn Smith.
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Burgess, T., F. Blazich, and D. Nash. 2002. "Seed germination of southern seaoats (Uniola paniculata) as influenced by stratification, temperature, and light." Journal of Environmental Horticulture 20(3):180-183.

Hooton, N., D.L. Miller, M. Thetford, and S.B. Claypool. 2014. "Survival and growth of planted Uniola paniculata and dune building using surrogate wrack on Perdido Key Florida, USA." Restoration Ecology 22(5):701-707.

Stoddard, M., D.L. Miller, L.C. Branch, and M. Thetford. 2014. "Endangered beach mouse: Linking population studies/habitat restoration to predict sea level rise." Final Report submitted to Gulf Islands National Seashore, Gulf Coast Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit Project H5000 02 A271. 130 p.

Miller, D.L., M. Thetford, and L. Yager, 2001. "Evaluation of sand fence and vegetation for dune building following overwash by Hurricane Opal on Santa Rosa Island, Florida." Journal of Coastal Research 17(4):936-948.

Miller, D.L., L. Yager, M. Thetford, and M. Schneider. 2003. "Potential use of Uniola paniculata rhizome fragments for dune restoration." Restoration Ecology 11(3):359-369.

Nabukalu, P., and C. Knott. 2013. "Effects of seed storage environment on sea oats (Uniola paniculata)." Ecological Restoration 31(1):16-19.

Pérez, H.E., and M.E. Kane. 2016. "Different plant provenance same seed tolerance to abiotic stress: implications for ex situ germplasm conservation of a widely distributed coastal dune grass (Uniola paniculata L.)." Plant Growth Regulation 82(1):123-137.

Senaca, E.D. 1972. "Germination and seedling response of Atlantic and Gulf Coast populations of Uniola paniculata." American Journal of Botany 59(3):290-296.

Shadow, R. 2007. "Plant fact sheet for sea oats (Uniola paniculata L.)." USDA NRCS, East Texas Plant Material Center. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). 2017. The PLANTS Database.

Sylvia, D. M. 1989. "Vesiculararbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with Uniola paniculata in Florida foredunes." Mycological Society of America 78(5):728-734.

Sylvia, D.M. 1988. "Selection of a Vesicular arbuscular fungus for practical inoculation of Uniola paniculata." Mycologia 80(4):565-568.

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