Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Variegated Feather Reed Grass
Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Overdam'

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Calamagrostis (ka-la-mo-GROSS-tis) (Info)
Species: acutiflora (ak-yoo-tih-FLOR-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Overdam

Synonym:Calamagrostis x acutiflora

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 20 photos.
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6 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive saya On Jul 7, 2013, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love it! It is waving so graceful. I find it more beautiful and more elegant than the C. 'Karl Foerster' which I grew also in my garden. C. 'Overdam' is, just like C. 'K. Foerster', nice clumpforming. It is best to divide it every second or third year because it grows outwards so in the center it gets bold. Even for me, with low physical strength, the clump is easy to dig up for dividing. It roots, at least in my soil, rather shallow.
For a nice winterview C. is NOT a good choice. But one cannot have all!

Positive jacarole On Jun 11, 2007, jacarole from Granville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant was purchased at Lowe's. It has beautiful reddish-bronze flowers which blow ever so nicely in the wind. I strongly recommend this grass.

Positive mendogardener On Aug 10, 2006, mendogardener from Ukiah, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

A great upright grass that does not fall apart. A diminutive, variegated form of Karl Forester, it has a very small "downtime" here in Zone 8/9 (inland northern California) Takes blazing full sun without showing any stress, which is great for a variegated plant. We had 110 degrees in July.
Let it stand through the winter and cut it back late winter-in no time, you will have regrowth of foliage and a nice clump of grass. This is the longest blooming grass I am aware of. Blooms in June here and doesn't stop til late Winter. I can't say enough about this and Karl Forester. Yowza!

Positive bigcityal On May 3, 2006, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Most excellent grass, nice clump. Flowers stiff and attractive for winter interest. Slower to regrow from cutting back in summer. Varigation very refined.

Positive BingsBell On Aug 10, 2004, BingsBell from SC, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:

Another good feather reed grass. It is cold hardy Z3 according to the tag on one I planted this year.
The tag also recommends to cut it to the ground midsummer to encourage a flush of new growth. I plan to do that next summer when the clumps are larger.
This grass is best divided in the spring to help it remain vigorous. A nice addition to help show off a vignette of group plantings.

Positive Noodles On Jun 27, 2003, Noodles from Olympia, WA wrote:

Excellent grass about 4 ft tall rising from about a 12-18 in clump of leaves. As with most grasses, looks great with backlighting of a.m. or p.m. sun. Flower heads move in the slightest wind. This variety of grass has the extra benefit of remaining intact over the winter, withstanding even our many storms off the Pacific. Cut to the ground in early spring. Easy to propagate by dividing root ball. Some of mine even thrive in part shade.


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

Cloverdale, California
Ukiah, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Chicago, Illinois
Palmyra, Illinois
Spring Grove, Illinois
Bremen, Indiana
Mishawaka, Indiana
Ludington, Michigan
Kasota, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Piedmont, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Billings, Montana
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Granville, Ohio
Dover, Pennsylvania
Olympia, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Ellsworth, Wisconsin
Menasha, Wisconsin
Mequon, Wisconsin

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