About Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ (Feather Reed Grass)
This ornamental evergreen grass is known as Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’. Commonly referred to as Feather Reed Grass, this perennial is uniquely different from other grass varieties. Atop roughly 3′ by 3′ of dense green grass-like foliage, vertical reddish feathery shoots emerge reaching as high as 6′ tall. Emerging first as a reddish-brown, its shoots turn golden-brown as fall approaches. During the end of spring through summer, you can find small purple flowers peppered throughout the feathery shoots adding further interest to this already unique perennial. During its blooming season, its flowering shoots are often used in cuttings for floral arrangements.
Planting and care instructions
Plant Feather Reed Grass in full sun to partial shade and water regularly to establish a healthy root system. This grass can tolerate dry spells but grows best with regular watering and moist soils. If you are located in a particularly hot climate, be sure to plant this variety with partial shade to protect against harsh summer weather. This type of grass maintains a nice, clean look during the cool season so plan to cut back growth in very early spring. Trimming back this grass too harshly can irreparably harm the plant so be sure to leave about 1/3 of the plant in place.
Landscape design ideas
This ornamental grass works well planted in multiples or used to cover an unsightly fence. It can also be used as a low-growing privacy screen between driveways or used to line a pathway.