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Feather Reed Grass ‘Karl Foerster’ | Plant Profile

Feather Reed Grass ‘Karl Foerster’ is an extremely versatile and hardy ornamental grass suited for a wide range of applications in the garden.

A hybrid grass, Calamagrostis × acutiflora is sterile and will not self-seed or spread beyond it’s initial planting. This controlled growth habit makes it a perfect choice in border plantings, utility screens and any low-maintenance application.

A long-blooming grass, ‘Karl Foerster’ will be among the first ornamental grasses to emerge in spring. By summer, ‘Karl Foerster’ will spout seed fronds that change color by fall and give the grass its ‘feathery’ appearance. Relatively stiff blades hold up well through the end of the growing season, providing winter interest. Expired stalks can be cut back late in winter to prepare for the next growing season.

Unlike many species of ornamental grasses, ‘Karl Foerster’ adapts well to the heavy clay soil that is prevalent in the mid-Atlantic region. ‘Karl Foerster’ tolerates a wide range of light and water conditions, though full-sun to part-shade applications with consistent moisture provide the best results.

‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reed Grass is deer resistant, salt tolerant and does not suffer any prevalent pest or disease problems.


'Karl Foerster' Characteristics

Feather Reed Grass 'Karl Foerster' is one of the most prevalent and popular grasses in the landscape, as much for its striking upright appearance as its hardy, low-maintenance adaptability.

Growing 3-5' tall at maturity and an average 2' spread, 'Karl Foerster' can be planted in neat rows without creeping or spreading as it ages. This is a perfect border planting in applications where vertical coverage is needed without creating a large footprint.

'Karl Foerster' are among the first grasses to emerge in spring and early-summer, and can remain uncut throughout fall and winter if desired. These hardy ornamental grasses stand up to all the common stresses of the Pittsburgh landscape, including clay soils, deer browsing, severe heat and cold and changing rainfall totals. Seasonal fertilization and annual cutbacks in fall or spring are the only care these grasses need to remain attractive and useful in the landscape.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones  5 - 9
3.00 - 5.00'
2.00 - 2.50'
Bloom Time
May - February
Medium - Wet
Full Sun to Part Shade
Deer Resistant?