03 June 2015

This Grass is So Popular, it's Sold Out Everywhere!!! Spotlight on Karl Foerster Ornamental Grass

Karl Foerster grass is a tall clumping feather reed grass with wheat like seed heads that turn golden in the autumn.  It is much sought after for its architectural impact in the garden, both residential and commercial. 

Photos in above collage were taken at the St. Albert Botanical Garden last fall.

The grass blades are upright and deep green.  In summer it sports seed heads which turn golden in the autumn and remain through the winter offering food and shelter to birds.  

Karl Foerster grass at the Legislature Grounds, Edmonton Alberta.  Photo taken during the fall.

Karl Foerster grass grows best in well-drained soil and is drought tolerant after established.  

Karl Foerster grass in a boulevard, Edmonton Alberta.

Photo above taken at Muttart Conservatory April 2013.

Stalks of seed heads remain upright, rising above the snow; providing winter interest.  In early spring, cut back to the ground. Clumps may be divided in spring. Amend soil with worm castings, sea soil or compost.

Photos in this collage were taken at a local boulevard during the winter.  The Karl Foerster grass is a popular landscape specimen in commercial applications.

Botanical name:  Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
Overall Height:150 cm/ 60 inches
Foliage height:  91-122 cm/36-48 inches
Spread/width:  60 cm/24 inches (clumping - not invasive)
Full sun or part shade
Zone Hardiness:  3-9
Flowers:  July-August.  Will bloom in light shade.  Flower heads become pink/purplish green then turn golden brown in autumn.
Soil:  medium - wet.  Drought tolerant once established
Good for moist low spots, narrow beds, pond or stream plantings
Deer resistant
Growth rate:  medium
Tolerates: air pollution, black walnut (where few things will grow), wet soil, clay soil, erosion, variety of soil moisture levels but prefers moist well-drained soil.
Soil ph:  neutral, alkaline or acidic
Maintenance:  low

Perennial plant of the year 2001

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