Botanical Name: Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
Common Name: Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass  
Plant photo of: Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
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Water Saving Tip:

Change spray sprinklers to low-flow bubbler or drip systems. Shrubs and trees are ideal candidates for this type of irrigation because the water is applied directly to the root zones.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Perennial, Grass


Height Range



Flower Color

Green, Pink, White


Flower Season



Leaf Color

Green, Dark Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Full, Half





Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam, Unparticular


Soil Condition

Average, Poor, Well-drained


Soil pH



Adverse Factors


Design Styles

English Cottage, Formal, Meadow, Mediterranean, Seascape, Water Garden


Accenting Features

Showy Flowers, Unusual Foliage


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Background, Perennial Border, Shrub Border, Park, Raised Planter, With Rocks


Special Uses

Container, Cut Flowers, Hedge, Mass Planting, Small Spaces


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
  • Description

  • Notes

Karl Foerster feather reed grass is a garden favorite, and for good reason. Its green, fine-textured foliage is gently arching and grows to about 2 feet tall and wide. Oat-like plumes stand very erect over the foliage, growing as tall as 5 to 6 feet. Plumes open whiteish green, later turning a dusky rose, and then tawny colored by winter. Blooms early summer with the plumes lasting into autumn. Holds its presence well into winter. Excellent in mixed perennial or shrub borders, or massed.
Grow in well drained soil, in full sun to part shade. Is tolerant of many soil types, as long as they are not damp or moist. Cut back to inches above ground in late winter to early spring, before new growth emerges. Makes an excellent cut flower.