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'Karl Foerster' is the best known of the feather reedgrasses and boasts all the key elements of this beautiful, useful ornamental grass. While other ornamental grasses tend to arch outward, feather reedgrass tends to grow straight and upright, giving an architectural element to the landscape, even in winter, as long as you leave it standing.
Feather reedgrass produces tiny flowers in early summer. Seed heads mature to golden tan by midsummer and remain attractive into fall. Cut back in late winter or early spring as soon as new growth is detected at the base.
Part Sun, Sun
3 to 8 feet
1-2 feet wide
garden plans for Feather reedgrass
more varieties for Feather reedgrass
'Karl Foerster' feather reedgrass
Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' is the most widely available form. It develops a stiff 5-foot-tall column of dark green leaves topped by warm tan seedstalks.
Korean feather reedgrass
Calamagrostis brachytricha, which is also known as foxtailgrass for its plumes of seed heads in fall, needs more moisture than feather reedgrass. Cut the seed heads for use in fresh or dried flower arrangements.
plant Feather reedgrass with
Asters get their name from the Latin word for "star," and their flowers are indeed the superstars of the fall garden. Some types of this native plant can reach up to 6 feet with flowers in white and pinks but also, perhaps most strikingly, in rich purples and showy lavenders.Not all asters are fall bloomers. Extend the season by growing some of the summer bloomers, as well. Some are naturally compact; tall types that grow more than 2 feet tall benefit from staking or an early-season pinching or cutting back by about one-third in July or so to keep the plant more compact.
Sedums are nearly the perfect plants. They look good from the moment they emerge from the soil in spring and continue to look fresh and fabulous all growing season long. Many are attractive even in winter when their foliage dies and is left standing. They're also drought-tolerant and need very little if any care. They're favorites of butterflies and useful bees. The tall types are outstanding for cutting and drying. Does it get better than that? Only in the fact that there are many different types of this wonderful plant, from tall types that will top 2 feet to low-growing groundcovers that form mats. All thrive in full sun with good drainage. Ground cover types do a good job of suppressing weeds, but seldom tolerate foot traffic. Some of the smaller ones are best grown in pots or treated as houseplants.
Purple coneflower is so easy to grow and attractive and draws so many birds and butterflies that you simply must grow it, if you have the room. Valued for its large sturdy daisylike flowers with dropping petals, this prairie native will spread easily in good soil and full sun. It is bothered by few pests or diseases. It's a great cut flower -- bring in armloads of it to brighten the house. And birds and butterflies love it. Allow it to spread so that you have at least a small stand of it. Let the flowers go to seed and the goldfinches will love you, coming to feast on the seeds daily. Butterflies and helpful bees also love purple coneflower.It used to be that rosy purple or white were the only choices in flower color. Recent hybrids have introduced yellow, orange, burgundy, cream, and shades in between.