Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Overdam'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 5 Professionals
Common Name: feather reed grass
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 2.50 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to February
Bloom Description: Pinkish green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Tolerate: Erosion, Wet Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution


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. Best foliage variegation usually occurs in cool northern 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

'Overdam' is a hybrid (C. arundinacea x C. epigejos) feather reed grass cultivar which is valued for its variegated foliage, early bloom, vertical lines and ability to grow in wet soils. It is a slowly-spreading, clump-forming, cool season ornamental grass which features a compact, erect, slightly arching, slender foliage clump (to 1' tall and 2' wide) of stiff, narrow leaves variegated with rich green and white stripes. Leaves produce little fall color, eventually turning tan in winter. In June, tightly-vertical flower stalks rise above the foliage to 3' tall bearing narrow inflorescences of feathery, pinkish-green flowers which turn golden as the seeds mature in summer and eventually tan. Clumps generally provide good continuing winter interest. Similar to Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' except 'Overdam' clumps are more compact and foliage is variegated.


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.