Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
3 to 4 ft.
18 to 24 in.
species is native to Europe
sun, part shade
USDA zones 4-9
hardy to 7,000 ft.
Karl Foerster feather reed grass is one of the most commonly used ornamental grasses in the Colorado Springs area. It's upright in shape and blond seedheads create a tidy, attractive appearance through late fall and winter.
In summer, the grass blades are deep green and form a clump up to 2 feet wide. In mid-summer, feathery plumes appear above the leaves. As the season progresses, the plumes turn a blondish yellow color. The seedheads persist into winter when the whole plant turns light yellow.
Karl Foerster is sterile, so it won't spread by seed in the landscape. It's reliable performance and tidy habit make it a valuable addition to many landscapes.
Karl Foerster feather reed grass has grown well in the moderate water zones at the Xeriscape Garden. It needs to be watered regularly to flower and reach its normal height. If the location is too dry, its growth will be stunted and it will not flower.
Cut down previous year's leaves and stems to ground level before new growth appears in spring.