WARNING: LOCALLY INVASIVE SPECIES
Common Name: reed canary grass
Type: Ornamental grass
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White to pale pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Tolerate: Drought, Black Walnut, Air Pollution
Easily grown in average, dry to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Wide range of soil tolerance from wet (will grow in several inches of water) to dry, clay to sand or acidic to alkaline. When grown as a ground cover, 4 plants per square yard will be sufficient to quickly fill in such an area. Rhizomatous. Propagate by division in spring.
A rigorous, variegated, invasive, bamboo-like ornamental grass with upright stems typically growing 2-3' tall (when in flower). Features flat, arching, green and white striped, 6-12" long leaf blades (2/3" wide) with a pink tinge (particularly in spring). Pink tinge usually turns creamy white by summer. Panicles of whitish to pale pinkish flowers bloom well above the foliage in early summer. Flowers are quite conspicuous but not particularly showy. This bright grass is extremely attractive in spring to early summer, but turns an unattractive brown by late summer. If cut back hard (e.g., 6" from the ground), it will produce fresh, variegated foliage. Lacks the winter interest that many other ornamental grasses provide. Similar to Phalaris arundinacea var. picta 'Picta', except slightly shorter, somewhat less invasive, leaves are pink-tinged in spring with leaf blades often having more white, retains good color longer and has showier flowers. Also sold as 'Feesey's Form', 'Feesey's Variety' or 'Mervyn Feesey'. Sometimes commonly called ribbon grass, reed canary grass or gardener's garters.
No serious insect or disease problems. An invasive spreader which is difficult to eradicate once established because any tiny segment of root or rhizome left behind can sprout and spread. Use of soil barriers should be considered at the time of planting to prevent rhizomes from traveling into unwanted areas.
Probably not a good candidate for the border because of the aforementioned invasive characteristics. Will colonize and serve as a dense, weed-free ground cover in areas where invasiveness in not a concern. Effective in boggy areas, in water gardens (submerged in several inches of water) or in wet areas along streams or ponds where it also can help stabilize banks. Also effective in dry locations, including desert gardens, where it is somewhat less invasive. Pink tinge in spring can blend well with and be highlighted by pink perennials such as geraniums.