Boone County Arboretum
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Union, Kentucky 41091
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Cultural Details for Calamagrostis x acutifolia 'Karl Foerster'

Common Name:
Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass

Growth Rate:

Average Mature Height:
Leaves 3-4' with flower spikes reaching 5-6.5'

Average Mature Width:

Flower Details:
Upright flower spikes emerge early. Green with bronze tones, the blossoms/seeds change color through the season.

Fruit Details:
Sterile seeds remain on the plant until winter snow brings them down.

Fall Color:
A hard frost may turn foliage orange yellow in mild climates but almost always some green remains. Flower spikes dry to a golden colour bleaching to buff.

Bark Details:

Disease / Insect Problems or Resistance:
No known pest or problems.

Native Habitat:
Eurasia Zones 5-9

Other Features:
Constantly confused with C. acutiflora 'Stricta'. Used as a specimen it makes a stunning vertical accent, in groups it creates a horizontal band of golden flowers that bend and sway in the wind.

Culture and Care:
Plant in full sun; moist to wet fertile soil; tolerates a wide range of soil types including dry sandy soil; thrives in clay soil. Zone 3-9. Propagate by division in fall or spring. Cut back to ground in early spring before new growth starts.

This plant was blooming:

Plantings of this cultivar at Boone County Arboretum:
Bed 172

    The information on this page may have come from one or more of the following sources:
  • Dirr, Michael. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Stipes Publishing. 1998.
  • Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America. John Wiley & Sons. 1988.
  • North Carolina Extension Plant Fact Sheets.
  • University of Connecticut Plant Database.