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Calamagrostis (kal-uh-muh-GROS-tis)

Common Name:  Feather reed grass

Light:  - Full sun to part shade

Soil:  Average to rich, moist but well-drained

Moisture:  Average

Blooms:  Early summer

Zones:  (4) 5 - 8


Calamagrostis 'Avalanche'

Calamgrostis 'Karl Foerster'

Calamagrostis Description and Cultural Information

Calamagrostis x acutiflora, feather reed grass. 5'. Calamagrostis is a cool season grass with strictly upright foliage. The vertical, feathery plumes have a purple cast when they first appear in early summer and then change to a wheat color by late summer. 'Overdam' has variegated foliage with cream margins. It is less vigorous than 'Karl Foerster' but still makes a nice specimen. The variety 'Avalanche' has variegated foliage with a white center and green margins and it has a good growth rate however solid green reversions back to 'Karl Foerster' are common.

How to grow:  Plant feather reed grass in full to part sun in average to rich, moist but well-drained soil. Plants are somewhat clay tolerant but can suffer in standing water. Because they are cool season grasses they can be divided in spring or fall and as sterile hybrids they will not produce seedlings and are not invasive. They stand up well throughout the year and never need staking or support. Cut them back in March before new growth appears.

Landscape uses:  Use feather reed grass anywhere you need a vertical accent. They work well as specimens, in mass plantings, or plant a row as a screen or border.

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