Ribbon Grass, Reed Canary Grass, Gardener's Garters 'Luteo-picta'

Phalaris arundinacea

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


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage


Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Jacksonville, Florida

Urbandale, Iowa

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 30, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This species spreads aggressively underground by rhizomes. It is one of the species that have given grasses a bad name as mixed border plants.

This species is naturalized through most of North America, 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.


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."