Dwarf Ribbon Grass, Reed Canary Grass, Gardener's Garters
Phalaris arundinacea 'Dwarf Garters'

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

Category:

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Height:

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

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)

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

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Cream/Tan

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Variegated

Blue-Green

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

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

,

Hayward, California

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Taylorsville, North Carolina

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Belton, Texas

Hudson, Wisconsin

Menasha, Wisconsin

Wausau, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

1
positive
0
neutrals
3
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. There are many other more useful ornamental grasses that look very similar without being weedy or thuggish.

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 Jul 15, 2009, nlp00 from Hudson, WI wrote:

The cultivar Dwarf Garters Ribbon Grass is not aggressive in my garden. It is actually the opposite. Perhaps planting this type in shaded areas helps curb its desire to spread abundantly. I have also read that this cultivar cant be compared to Reed grass as far as invasiveness is concerned.

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."

Negative

On Dec 10, 2005, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I will advise against planting this grass. It is very aggressive and you will end up having to control it in one way or another. There are much better ornamental grasses out there.