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Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster'
ENLARGE IMAGE Long blooming! Early summer-Frost!
  • Calamagrostis Karl Foerster planted with spacing between plants
  • Feather Reed Grass planted in a solid row along a driveway
  • Calamagrostis Karl Foerster planted near electrical boxes
  • Feather Reed Grass planted in a solid row near street parking
  • Feather Reed Grass planted around benches near a walkway
  • Calamagrostis Karl Foerster planted in a garden surrounded by perennials

Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster'

Space-saving grass with big impact!
Item: #CALKF1Q
ZONE 5,6,7,8
As low as $13.99
  • Feather reed grass creates a fast privacy screen
  • Deer proof! Thrives in both dry and moist sites.
  • Gives a structured look to any garden
  • Ideal for concealing objects such as air conditioning units.
  • Light: Full sun, Mature Size: 48-60" x 24"
  • Ship size: Jumbo 1 Quart
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Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' Description

A favorite go-to-grass that blooms long and stands up to harsh winters. Try it as a fast-growing hedge for screening or privacy!

Versatile and easy to grow, 'Karl Foerster' reed grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora) is one of the showiest, longest blooming mid-size hedge plant for the garden.  It gives any garden a lift!

A favorite landscape perennial among garden designers, this low maintenance ornamental grass can quickly provide a sense of enclosure to pathways, pools, patio or decks. Even their blooms can help block noise to a degree.  Plant them close together to create a solid barrier or boundary to screen out objects or air conditioning units.

'Karl Foerster' begins its spectacular flower show in early summer & remains colorful right thru the hard frosts of fall! Easy to grow, erect Feather Reed grass produces grain-like seed heads in early summer reach ing up to 5' tall.  Winner of the Perennial Plant Association Perennial of the Year

How to grow.  Feather Reed Grass prefers a sunny site.  Tolerates drought and clay sites.  It wakes up earlier than other grasses and is highly salt tolerant. Primary maintenance is a yearly trim in late winter/spring cutting back to 8" or so to the ground.

World-reknown garden designer :  Piet Outdolf in his book Designing with Plants refers to 'Karl Foerster' as "most upright of the grasses, which bends in the wind, making it almost weatherproof." "spire-shaped flowerheads add lift to the garden, severing its bonds with the earth"..

Feather reed grass provides a structured look providing a welcome contrast in beds and borders to more bold or contrasting type of perennials such as perovskia, sedum, or roses.

About 'Karl Foerster' grass:  This hardy ornamental grass was introduced to the nursery trade in 1950 by German nurseryman Karl Foerster via Hamburg Botanical Garden.  It came to the United States by way of Denmark in 1964.  Wolfgang Oehme and Kurt Bluemel were influential in introducing this superb grass the the US market.  This particular variety of feather reed grass is called the "metamorphic grass" or "perpetual motion grass."  The slightest breeze sets this grass in motion.  It is an excellent specimen providing vertical accent. Stems cut before the flower mature will last for months in an arrangements while maintaining the gold tan color.  Perennial Plant of the Year in 2001.

Special features: Cut flower, Deer resistant, Dried flower, Drought tolerant, Easy care, Heat tolerant, Long blooming, Multi-seasonal interest, Season extender, Winter interest

Quick Facts

  • Botanical name:
    Calamagrostis acutiflora
  • Common name:
    Feather reed grass
  • Zone:5,6,7,8
  • Sun exposure:
  • Delivery:
    See schedule
  • Ship form:
    1 quart
  • Soil type:
    Clay, Normal, Sandy
  • Soil moisture:
    Dry, Average
  • Height x width:
    48-60" x 24"
  • Flower color:
  • Foliage color:
  • Bloom season:
    Early summer
  • Uses:
    Accent, Background, Border, Container gardening, Cottage gardening, Foundation planting, Hedge, Massing, Ornamental, Screen, Specimen
  • Cannot ship to:
    AK, HI
  • Patent #: None



Soil: Average, medium to wet soils - Does well in heavy clay soils, unlike many of the other ornamental grasses.
Light: Full sun for tighter clumps and more blooms -- Blooms in light shade, and appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates.
Water: Soils should be kept moist and not allowed to dry out.
Spacing: 2-3 ft.
Fertilizing: Most ornamental grasses need very little fertilizer. It is best to base any fertilizer applications on the results of a soil test.
Winterizing: No specific care needed
Maintenance & pruning: Cut clumps to the ground in late winter just before the new shoots appear. Clumps may be divided in spring every 4 to 5 years. If ornamental grasses are not divided, they eventually become thin or die out in the center.


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Cheryl M  |  Jun 20, 2015
I just received another great shipment from you…having moved to a new property I have bought a lot of plants, but what you sell , the size, and shipping are the best. I am a loyal customer.