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Plant Database Search Results > Calamagrostis foliosa
Calamagrostis foliosa - Mendocino Reed Grass
Image of Calamagrostis foliosa
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
California Native (Plant List): Yes
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Wheat
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [C. sylvatica var. longifolia]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
Calamagrostis foliosa (Mendocino Reed Grass) - A beautiful cool-season native California bunchgrass that comes from the northern California coast. It grows to only about 1 foot tall by nearly 2 feet wide with arching blue-green foliage that often has purple highlights. In mid spring through early summer appear the attractive short arching silvery- purple heads of flowers that age to a golden wheat color and attractive on into fall. Plant along the coast in full sun or light shade inland in a well-drained soil. Tolerates drier conditions to the north and when grown in shade but looks best with occasional to regular irrigation and requires this in southern California where it always seems less happy. Cold hardy to Hardy to 10F. It tolerates near seashore wind and salt spray and is resistant to predation by herbivores. A great plant as a small specimen or mass planting or scattered through a natural meadow planting . It is generally is considered short lived and plantings may need to be renovated every three to seven years but can be kept more attractive by a dragging a hard bow rake through the clumps to remove old thatch or by dividing and replanting new plants in later winter or early spring - do not chop back this plant as it does not respond well to this treatment. To renovated plantings consider cleaning up and dividing existing clumps in late winter or spring while plants are actively growing. This plant is native to Del Norte, Mendocino and Humboldt counties (possibly in Sonoma and Siskiyou) where it grows on headlands and sea bluffs in coastal scrub plant and inland in coastal conifer forests from sea level to about 4,000 feet. It is listed by the State of California as Rare (CNPS 4.2). Other common names included Cape Mendocino Reed Grass and Leafy Reed-grass. We first got this beautiful grass in 1990 from Native Sons Nursery in Arroyo Grande, California and have grown it since 1992. 

This information about Calamagrostis foliosa displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.