Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

feather reed grass

Outstanding Qualities

Karl Foerster feather reed grass is valued for its early bloom time and its erect, architectural form, slightly tighter than other forms of feather reed grass. The 2 foot tall foliage adds structure without being overbearing. In June flower stalks rise from 5 to 6 feet tall with narrow plumes of feathery, pinkish-bronze inflorescences that change to a golden color as they mature in summer and persist well into winter. It is slow spreading and will not seed around the garden.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: blue, chartreuse

Great Color Partners: red, purple, orange

Culture Notes

Feather reed grass grows best in full sun with well-drained or sandy soil. It will tolerate clay if it is not waterlogged in winter. Once established only occasional watering is needed during dry weather. Keep fertilizing to a minimum to prevent flopping seed heads. Cut this grass to the ground in late winter when seed heads look unattractive and before new growth starts.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: grass

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: brown

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: occasional watering