Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 12 Professionals
Common Name: feather reed grass
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to February
Bloom Description: Pinkish-purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Erosion, Wet Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium to wet soil in full sun. Does well in heavy clay soils, unlike many of the other ornamental grasses. Prefers moist, rich soils which do not dry out. Blooms in light shade, and appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Cut clumps to the ground in late winter just before the new shoots appear. This grass will not self-seed in the garden because seeds are sterile.

Noteworthy Characteristics

'Karl Foerster' is a hybrid (C. arundinacea x C. epigejos) feather reed grass cultivar which is valued for its early bloom, vertical lines and ability to grow in wet soils. It is a slowly-spreading, clump-forming, cool season ornamental grass which features an erect, slightly arching, slender clump of narrow, stiff, rich green leaves growing to 3' tall and 2' wide. Leaves produce little fall color, eventually turning tan in winter. In June, tightly-vertical flower stalks rise well above the foliage to 6' tall bearing narrow plumes of feathery, purplish-green flowers which turn golden as the seeds mature in summer and eventually tan. Clumps generally provide good continuing winter interest. 2001 Perennial Plant of the Year award.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Mass, group or specimen. Excellent vertical accent for borders and for narrow spaces in the landscape. Also effective in moist low spots or on pond/stream banks.