Feather Reed Grass

By: C. Colston Burrell
Feather reed grass is an annual grass. See more pictures of annual flowers.

The genus Calamagrostis includes perennial and annual grasses from Africa and Europe. A few species are used ornamentally. They form upright clumps and bloom in spring and early summer.

: Feather reed grass grows into a strong, upright clump reaching 5 feet in height. The dull green leaves are 2 feet long and arch slightly. In late spring, flower stalks rise 2 to 3 feet above the foliage. The 12-inch-long flower head is purplish in spring, turning to buff-colored seed heads in fall.


Use feather reed grass as a screen or as a vertical accent. The plant is well suited to wet soils around pools and streams. It is a cool-season grass that keeps its interest from spring into fall.

: Grow feather reed grass in full sun with moist, fertile soil. It tolerates poorly drained wet soils (such as at the edge of a pond) and, once established, it will tolerate drought.

: Feather reed grass is a hybrid that is propagated by division in early fall or early spring.

elated species: Foxtail grass, Calamagrostis arundinacea abrachytricha, grows to 3 feet tall and produces 12-inch-long, lavender, fluffy, foxtail-shaped flowers.

feather reed grass: Calamagrostis acutiflora stricta


Want more gardening information? Try:

  • Annual Grasses; learn more about annual grasses and foliage
  • Perennial Grasses; read more about perennial ornamental grasses and unusual ground cover
  • Gardening; turn your garden into a lush retreat using these step-by-step instructions