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Variegated Feather Reed Grass 'Overdam'

Calamagrostis acutiflora

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


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.