Botanical Name: Calamagrostis acutiflora
Common Name: Feather Reed Grass  
Plant photo of: Calamagrostis acutiflora
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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

Pink, Purple


Flower Season



Leaf Color

Green, Dark Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Full, Half





Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Poor, Well-drained, Dry


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Meadow, Mediterranean, Ranch, Seascape, Spanish, Water Garden


Accenting Features

Showy Flowers, Unusual Foliage


Seasonal Interest

Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Background, Entry, Perennial Border, Shrub Border, Foundation, Raised Planter, With Rocks


Special Uses

Cut Flowers, Hedge, Mass Planting, Small Spaces


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
  • Description

  • Notes

Feather reed grass is perennial grass that grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. It is ideal in spaces where some vertical interest would be valued. It is very upright, though the grass blades are gently arching. Flower plumes appear mid June and emerge a light green but quickly turn to pinkish purple. The flower is very airy and feathery, hence the name. Flower is looser than 'Karl Foerster.' Plumes are very persistent into the winter months. Slightly less erect than it's popular kin, 'Karl Foerster.'
Plant in full sun to part shade, in any well drained soil. Does well in heavy clay soils. Cut back in late winter to early spring (see Guides). A very easy-care perennial grass.