What Is Feather Reed Grass?
Feather Reed Grass (Fraxinus excelsa) is a common species found throughout most of the United States. It grows well in a wide range of soil types, but prefers moist soils with low organic matter content. Its leaves are opposite, ovate or oblong and have five leaflets each. The leaf blades are often hairy and may be coarsely bristled at their tips; however, they usually remain smooth when young.
The plant produces small white flowers in spring and summer followed by seed pods which contain seeds. These pods are round, brownish-green, and have two rounded lobes at the top. They are filled with tiny black seeds that germinate after being exposed to air for several days.
The podlets then drop to the ground where they develop into new plants over time. Seeds can survive up to one year without water or other conditions changing.
How To Grow Feather Reed Grass
When growing feather reed grass, it is best to grow it in a sunny location so that the plants receive enough sunlight. However, if you live in a place where there is little sun, then growing feather reed grass will not be difficult. You can grow feather reed grass either from seed or from cuttings.
Cuttings are easier because they require less care than seeds. You can also grow feather reed grass from root or rhizome divisions.
Feather Reed Grass Varieties
There are many different varieties of feather reed grass. Some of the most popular include:
Variegated Feather Reed Grass – This is a hybrid variety that has white stems and an interesting mix of green and yellow stripes on its leaves. The flowers of this plant are white and it grows up to 3′ tall.
Purple Feather Reed Grass – This is a very showy variety with dark green leaves and purple stems. It is 2′ tall and produces purple flowers.
Common Feather Reed Grass – The common feather reed grass is green in color, grows up to 3′ tall, and has an upright habit. Its flowers are small and white in color.
Desert Feather Reed Grass – This is the smallest type of feather reed grass. It only grows to about 1′ in height and has narrow leaves.
Feather Reed Grass Winterizing
One of the most important things about feather reed grass is proper winterizing. When you are done with your plants for the year, make sure to cut them back hard and mulch heavily over the plant’s remains. It is also a good idea to add some kind of fertilizer to the soil before you mulch.
This should help ensure that your feather reed grass will be in top condition when you are ready to plant again the next spring.
Feather Reed Grass Is A Meadow Delight
Feather reed grass is a very hardy plant and can grow almost anywhere. It looks nice, even in large quantities, and can provide food for farm animals if need be. It is also deer resistant which makes it perfect for naturalistic areas such as meadows.
Its fine texture and soft color makes it ideal for those areas where a more delicate touch is needed in the landscape design. If you are looking for a plant that is easy to care for and one that will help you add beauty and interest to your landscape design, then try growing feather reed grass. It is a plant worth having.
Feather Reed Grass Images
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Feather Reed Grass
Feather reed grass (Arundo donax)is a tall, hardy, perennial grass that is very common in wet locations such as river banks. It has very distinctive “feathers”, which spread out at the base of the stems. The feathery look gives this plant its name.
Feather Reed Grass Pollination
Tiny flowers appear in late spring and last through most of the summer. All of the plants in this genus are pollinated by bees. They produce no nectar, but some varieties produce more grains than others which attract a larger number of bees and likely improve chances of successful pollination.
Feather Reed Grass Roots
The plant has very large rhizomes which can extend over 100 feet and survive for about 50 years. The roots absorb most of the water in wet soils and can sometimes dry out to a degree that causes them to break apart and create new plants.
Feather Reed Grass Seeds
The grass turns a beautiful golden brown in the fall before it drops tons of seeds. The seeds are sometimes harvested and used as novelty items or roach traps (they work very well). The plants can sometimes reseed themselves if there is enough moisture around.
Feather Reed Grass Plant
This is a large plant and can get quite tall in the right conditions. It can easily be controlled by cutting the stems to the ground every few years. Requires plenty of sun and wet soil.
Very easy to grow and pest free.
Feather Reed Grass Leaves
The leaves can get quite large and are very noticeable on the plant. The leaves droop down and have a very vertical or oblong shape. Very wide leaves.
Sources & references used in this article:
Propagation time affects winter survival and finishing date for ornamental grasses by BA Cunliffe, MH Meyer – Journal of Environmental …, 2002 – meridian.allenpress.com
Growth of Calamagrostis brachytricha Steud. and Festuca glauca Lam. and estimated water savings under evapotranspiration-based deficit irrigation by X Yuan, M Gu, W Teng, X Yang, J Wu – The Journal of Horticultural …, 2011 – Taylor & Francis
Effects of media porosity and container size on overwintering and growth of ornamental grasses by MH Meyer, BA Cunliffe – HortScience, 2004 – journals.ashs.org
Techniques for detecting grass tolerance to sethoxydim and fenoxaprop-ethyl herbicides by J Hubbard, T Whitwell – Weed Science, 1991 – JSTOR
Relative Palatabilities of Grasses under Cultivation on the Northern Great Plains 1 by GA Rogler – Agronomy Journal, 1944 – dl.sciencesocieties.org