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Ornamental Grass
Phalaris arundinacea 'Picta'

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phalaris (FAL-ah-ris) (Info)
Species: arundinacea (a-run-din-uh-KEE-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Picta

Category:

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Perennials

Height:

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:

Unknown - Tell us

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Inconspicuous/none

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Variegated

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lexington, Kentucky

Woburn, Massachusetts

Mattawan, Michigan

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Gardeners' Notes:

1
positive
0
neutrals
2
negatives
RatingContent
Negative

On Feb 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

My experience with 'Picta' is that it spreads too quickly and aggressively by underground rhizomes for it to be used near other garden perennials.

This species is naturalized through most of the US, and often forms large monoculture stands in wetland habitat. Cultivating it is prohibited in Massachusetts, where it's considered an invasive threat to natural habitat. It's been declared a noxious weed in Washington, and invasive in Connecticut.

Positive

On Jun 2, 2010, kajaco2 from Lexington, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Lexington, KY; zone 6a

I picked this up last summer at a huge discount from a big-box home improvement store; it wasn't labeled but I liked the looks of it. I put it in a spot where it gets afternoon sunlight only and watered whenever it looked a little wilty, which wasn't all that often considering it was newly planted. I didn't even know whether it was a perennial or annual grass, but it came back nicely this spring.

On a recent trip back to ye old big-box home improvement store I saw they had this grass in stock again, so now I can ID it.

My experience is that if given enough water to keep it from wilting, but no more, it may not be too invasive. Mine has grown a lot this spring, but has not taken over anything despite a couple weekends of he... read more

Negative

On Mar 15, 2008, distantkin from Saint Cloud, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

The Minnesota DNR has Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) listed on it's invasive species list.
"Ecological Threat:

* Reed canary is a major threat to natural wetlands. It out competes most native species.
* It presents a major challenge in wetland mitigation efforts.
* It forms large, single-species stands, with which other species cannot compete.
* If cut during the growing season a second growth spurt occurs in the fall.
* Invasion is associated with disturbances, such as ditch building, stream channeling sedimentation and intentional planting.
* This Eurasian species has been planted throughout the U.S. since the 1800s for forage and erosion control. It is still being planted."