Thursday’s Feature: Calamagrostis

Today I am joining Kimberley at Cosmos and Cleome for her Thursday’s Feature, where we look at a plant close up each week.

I LOVE this grass!


I only discovered it last summer, and immediately planted more. It is forming lovely big clumps and I would love to add even more later this year. Is that too monotonous, using one grass as a feature? It has pinky brown flowers that wave around in the slightest breeze, (it was very breezy when trying to get a photo!), creating the effect of a cool wind even when it is hot and muggy. I think it is the movement that I love most. Or is it the shape. Or the colour or the height. (About 1.2 metres). Or the fact that the slightest change in the light makes it change colour, like here…


I love the name too, despite having no idea how to pronounce it correctly. Calama as in calamity? … According to Wikipedia ‘The word “calamagrostis” is derived from the Greek word kalamos (reed) and agrostis (a kind of grass).’

It clearly loves the conditions offered this year: warm, damp and yet in a well-drained south-facing rockery with poor stony alkaline soil. We will see how it performs next year, if we don’t get as much rain in spring and early summer.

(Click on any image to enlarge)


I ordered both Calamagrostis varia and Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’, but they both look the same to me now. Or maybe I was sent the wrong one, which would not be the first time… So any help with ID would be appreciated. Have you ever grown this beautiful grass?


Thank you for visiting!