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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - September 04, 2010

From: Mobile, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany
Title: Oils/paraffins in sea oats
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Do Sea Oats produce oils/paraffins?

ANSWER:

Not sure if you mean Uniola paniculata (seaoats) or Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats); but, considering that you are in Mobile, Alabama I suspect you are asking about Uniola paniculata.  I could find studies on the fatty acid content of silage grasses (e.g., "Stability of fatty acids in grass and maize silages after exposure to air during the feed out period" by N. A. Kahn, J. W. Cone and W. H. Hendriks in Animal Feed Science and Technology Volume 154, Issues 3-4, 26 November 2009, Pages 183-192).  I found a source for macronutrient (Ca, N, Mg, K, P) content in Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) in the article "Growth and Macronutrient Accumulation of Chasmanthium latifolium (Michx.) Yates and Hakonechloa macra Makino ‘Aureola’ in Response to Temperature" by M. P. Harvey and M. H. Brand in HortScience 37(5):765–767. 2002.  Unfortunately, I could find no information about the fatty acid, oil, or paraffin content of either Uniola paniculata or Chasmanthium latifolium. I don't know why you are looking for this information, but perhaps someone with the Alabama A & M and Auburn Universities Alabama Cooperative Extension System would be able to help you.

 

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