Ornamental grasses: 'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass

On a sunny autumn day, you just can't beat 'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora). This is one of the most popular ornamental grasses in this area and if you watch for it, you'll see it all over the place.

As you can see by the photo, its flower spikes look stunning against a bright blue sky.

The plant will reach about 5 feet in height and is tolerant of our summer heat. It loves the summer sun, isn't picky about soil type, has no insect problems and won't self-sow. Is it any wonder it was chosen at the Perennial Plant of the Year in 2001?

I love the vertical grow habit of Feather Reed Grass. It's very tidy in my perennial bed and thrives on neglect.  I don't mean to neglect it but have to admit that it's so undemanding that I tend to forget it's there! But come autumn, boy do I notice it.

The best time to give it a haircut is late winter, just in time for some of the new growth to begin at the base.