Calamagrostis xautiflora – Feather Reedgrass.
‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reedgrass is a super showy, upright plant that looks a little like wheat. Forming a dense clump – it sets no seed. The pink flowers are short-lived in late spring, but, according to WeedEatersCentral.com, the seedheads will last all winter – into the next spring when it should be cut back early in the spring to allow for the next season’s growth. Ornamental grasses as a rule can tolerate a variety of different soils. Some grasses can tolerate a more damp soil condition, while others flourish in a prairie setting which tends to be a little more on the dry side. This grass shouldbe planted in full sun! ‘Karl Foerster’ grows to be about 5′ in height when the plumes are set and showy. This grass was named the Perennial of the Year in 2002 by the Perennial Plant Association.
A couple of years ago we landscaped a commercial building here in Northfield and we planted ‘Karl Foerster’ at the corners of the building. It is absolutely stunning right now. It adds a great vertical accent. We have several clumps of ‘Karl Foerster’ in our meadow at home and all winter long it gently waves as we pass providing winter interest to a snowy landscape.
Companion perennial plants with ‘Karl Foerster’ and other tall ornamental grasses could fill the entire page. Grasses can be a background to smaller plants installed in front. A combination of just grasses – of all sizes and textures – is an amazing sight! Asters Coreopsis, Mums, Coneflowers, Phlox, Rudbeckia and Sedums all work well with ornamental grasses. Flowering shrubs and smaller evergreens contrast well also.