Among the most effective and handsome of ornamental grasses, the reed grasses feature feathery flower plumes that fade from purple-tinted green to yellow to buff. Flowers persist into fall and can be used for fresh or dried arrangements. Cut clumps almost to the ground in late winter, before new growth begins. Deer-resistant.
C. xacutiflora. FEATHER REED GRASS. Known mainly in the following evergreen to semievergreen selections. 'Karl Foerster', with narrow, bright green leaves, forms an erect, somewhat arching clump 23 ft. tall and somewhat broader; upright flowering stems increase the height to 56 ft. when they first appear in summer. 'Overdam', to 3 ft. tall, is similar but has variegated leaves and prefers afternoon shade. Its young foliage is striped and edged with yellow; as the leaves mature, the yellow ages to white highlighted with pink. Purplish pink tassels bloom in mid- to late summer. 'Stricta' is similar toand often confused with'Karl Foerster', but it grows 12 ft. taller and blooms slightly later.
C. brachytricha. REED GRASS. Deciduous. Upright, arching clump to 112 212 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide. Broad, rosy purple flower spikes resembling foxtails increase plant height to 4 ft. in late summer or early fall. One of the best grasses for partial shade; great in containers.