Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Feather Reed Grass

By Carol Westergreen
Want an easy to grow, tall grass that gives almost year around interest? Then you’ve got to try Feather Reed Grass. Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' is a cool season clumping grass with a compact, erect growth habit. Airy pinkish flowers appear in Mid-May. The flowers mature to a bright wheat color and hold their form all season. Growing to 4-5 feet in height and 2 feet wide, the columnar habit of Feather Reed Grass makes a great plant for back of the border or an accent plant, screen, or living wall. Once the cold of fall and winter arrives, the foliage turns from dark green to tawny brown. Both flowers and foliage holds well into winter, often still looking good in late February/early March when the new growth starts and the old foliage needs to be cut back. For a contrast, try the variegated form 'Avalanche'. It has the same form and habit as 'Karl Foerster' but with a wide white stripe in the middle of the foliage. 'Avalanche' tends to grow about 6-8” shorter than 'Karl Foerster'. Both grow well in full to part sun and average water. Give them a try. You won’t regret it!

Thanks to Carol Westergreen, owner of Out in the Garden Nursery, for sharing this plant pick. Carol has 'Karl Foerster' and 'Avalanche' for sale. Please call ahead before visiting the nursery.

Out in the Garden Nursery
32483 S. Mathias Road
Molalla, OR 97038

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