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Calamagrostis canadensis (Bluejoint Grass)

Bluejoint, Bluejoint Reedgrass, Canada Bluejoint, Canadian Reedgrass, Meadow Pinegrass, Marsh Reedgrass, Marsh Pinegrass

Bluejoint, Bluejoint Reedgrass, Canada Bluejoint, Canadian Reedgrass, Meadow Pinegrass, Marsh Reedgrass, Marsh Pinegrass

Long-lived and incredibly hardy, Calamagrostis canadensis (Bluejoint Grass) is a clump forming, cool-season, perennial grass boasting numerous slender, erect blue-green stems adorned with prominent joints. Arising from small rhizomes, they are topped with large, arching inflorescence in summer. Purplish at first, the flower plumes turn to a tan color as the season progresses. Beautiful in all seasons, whether blue-green in summer or blonde in winter, Bluejoint Grass is a key element of wet prairie and sedge meadow restorations. Its rhizomatous nature helps provide streambank stability. Historically, this plant was an important food for bison. It is also a source for food and shelter for a variety of birds and small mammals. Calamagrostis canadensis is the most common and widespread Calamagrostis species in North America. Because of its shallow roots and rapid spread, it forms a good sod on wet sites.

  • Grows up to 3-5 ft. tall (90-150 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). Spreads aggressively by shallow rhizomes and self-seeding.
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in acidic, moist to wet soils.
  • Perfect for moist areas including open woods, swamps, marshes, bog gardens, rain gardens, or along ponds and streams. Effective at stabilizing stream banks.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Cut back in early spring before new growth starts.
  • Best propagated from seed. Cant be propagated by division. Seeds require cold-moist stratification for 5 days.
  • Native to North America. Widespread over all of Canada and Greenland and over most of the U.S. except for the Deep South from Texas to Florida.

Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 6
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Plant Family Poaceae
Genus Calamagrostis
Common names Reed Grass
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 5'
(90cm - 150cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants California, United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Midwest, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Pacific Northwest, Southeast, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Southwest, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Alaska
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ground Covers, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Calamagrostis nutkaensis (Pacific Reedgrass)
Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Overdam’ (Feather Reed Grass)
Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ (Feather Reed Grass)
Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (Feather Reed Grass)
Calamagrostis brachytricha (Reed Grass)
Stipa calamagrostis (Spear Grass)

Recommended Companion Plants

Carex stricta (Tussock Sedge)
Helianthus grosseserratus (Sawtooth Sunflower)
Liatris spicata (Blazing Star)
Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
Eutrochium fistulosum (Joe-Pye Weed)
Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Great Ornamental Grasses for your Winter Garden
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 6
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Plant Family Poaceae
Genus Calamagrostis
Common names Reed Grass
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 5'
(90cm - 150cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants California, United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Midwest, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Pacific Northwest, Southeast, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Southwest, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Alaska
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ground Covers, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Calamagrostis (Reed Grass)
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