Calamagrostide pointed flowers, Gourbet, Calamagrostide strict, Calamagrostis x acutiflora: plant, cultivate, multiply

Calamagrostis x acutiflora, the pointed flower reed grass is a horticultural grass resistant to everything! Non-invasive, extremely tolerant and decorative for many months, it remarkably structures the landscape with its strict verticality.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Overdam’, Calamagrostide Overdam


N. scientific Calamagrostis x acutiflora

Synonyms Calamagrostis x arundinacea, Calamagrostis x tight

Family Poaces, Gramines

Origin Eurasia

Bloom June

Flowers pretty pale green udders, then purple and finally straw

Typeornamental grass


Foliage deciduous, but decorative culms present in winter

Height1,20 m 1,80 m

Plant and grow

hardiness very hardy, down to -24C

Exposition sun, partial shade


Acidity slightly acidic slightly alkaline

Humidity normal fresh

Utilisationmassif, bordure, cran vgtal, bouquet sec



Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Overdam', Calamagrostide Overdam

Calamagrostis x acutiflorathe pointed-flowered reed grass is a horticultural ornamental grass belonging to the family Poaceae (true grasses). Calamagrostis x acutiflora is a known and recognized horticultural plant. It was selected at the beginning of the 20th century par Karl Foerster by crossing 2 European species, present in the French Alps, for example: Calamagrostis epigejos et Calamagrostis arundinacea.

Since it is mass produced, Calamagrostis x acutiflora does not deny its qualities: solid, wise (does not encroach on its neighbours), terribly vertical and long decorative.

Since Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foester’, still very commonly produced and used, has become the leader of several varieties of reed grass with variously variegated pointed flowersTo our greatest delight.

Description of Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘karl Foester’

Calamagrostide ‘Karl Foester’ is a tufted plant with rhizomatous strain dense and tight, which at maturity does not spread beyond 60 cm. It produces quite quickly in the spring multiple slender stems, very straight and tight against each other, bearing narrow and long sheathing, dark green leaves.

Early, Calamagrostis x acutiflora starts its vegetation early (earlier than miscanthus), around mid-March and enters heading from June, faster than the majority of ornamental grasses. She then culminates between 120 and 180 cmdepending on the availability of water in the garden.

Its spikes in loose and narrow panicles bloom in pinkish beige. They have the particularity of remaining perfectly erect: in Calamagrostis x acutiflorathe whole plant, stems, leaves and flowers, has the particularity of remaining strictly in its base cylinder, offering homogeneous and extremely structuring vertical lines in any landscape or garden.

The inflorescences, always uprightbut nevertheless animated by the wind, go from pink to beige then take on as they dry the blondness of the wheat, so luminous during the end of autumn and persistent then, when the winter greyness smothers the garden.

Son foliage turns bright yellow in falla time after most other plants.

The Calamagrostide Karl Foester almost never produces seedsso you will not be bothered by spontaneous sowing.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ may sometimes be sold as Calamagrostis x arundinacea ‘Karl Foester’.

Other horticultural varieties of Calamagrostis x acutiflora

this hybridization has been the subject of selections which have made it possible to obtain several successful varieties:

  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘overdam’ is an extraordinarily bright variegated reed grass, as it seems to have a general cream tint, its spikes are in the same shades.

  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Eldorado’ is a reed grass with variegated leaves of green and yellow, on which the feathery spikes appear pinkish-beige.

  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Waldenbuch’close to ‘Karl Foester’, is finer and more compact, less tall (90 cm).

  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Lightning Strike’ cream and green variegated calamagrostide and pink ears.

  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Avalanche’with green leaves underlined by a white central band and bronze ears.

How to grow Calamagrostis x acutiflora?

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ is a plant extremely solid and satisfactory and the other varieties which result from it are also. They are more hardy down to -24°C.

particularly tolerant, These reed beetles withstand just about any type of terrain thrown at them. They grow taller when the ground is moist, and even better if it is moist and rich, but are fairly drought tolerant as well and suitable for poor soils as well.

On the other hand, in order for them to remain well-stocked, they need sunshine: a exposition partial shade to full sun.

As an almost sterile plant, this grass puts all its energy into “tiller” and therefore shows a rapid development. It becomes in 2 to 3 years a mature and dense plant.

The plantation

In the garden, Calamagrostis x acutiflora is preferably planted in spring, from March to April: this is the best time to allow it to take root quickly and adapt to your garden. Its recovery is easy in a well loosened pit, therefore welcoming for the roots and its rhizome. However, particular attention will be paid to the height of the collar, taking into account a possible mulching, useful to maintain more humidity in the ground.

Indeed, buried too low, the stump can rot, buried too high, this grass will suffer from drought, for lack of roots.


In mid-March, all old stubble will be cut to the lowest. It should not be too late to avoid damaging the new shoots which are very early.

How to use Calamagrostis x acutiflora ?

The pointed-flowered reed grass is often seen planted in groups in city parks and gardens (maybe a little too much?). Its high stature, all in verticality, is very graphic, it always remains “tidy” without any maintenance. It must be said that it accepts a bit of everything, concrete borders that are too close, like pollution.

In today’s gardens, although it can be used in a group to screen off a parking space, along a fence or to hide a bulky water meter, it is given more of a companion role, in association with other perennials such as coneflowers, asters, lavenders… A few feet of scattered reed grass provide a rhythm in a long massif, or even well placed in the background: an autumnal blondness magnified by glowing foliage; the spring clarity of Calamagrostis ‘Overdam’ in delicate contrast with columbines or the young purple leaves of peonies…

In terms of association, it is difficult to go wrong: its rigid side will be softened by almost any other plant of your choice.

Even in isolation, but surrounded by decorative mulch in an unfilled bed, this grass will be decorative.

Comment multiplier Calamagrostis x acutiflora ?

The rhizome divisions will be made exclusively in the spring around March/April.

Species and varieties of Calamagrostis

Species in this genus

  • Calamagrosris arundinaceaeerect reed grass or false reed
  • Calamagrostis brachytricadiamond grass
  • Calamagrostis epigejoswoodland reed grass

Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by

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