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Calamagrostis canadensis (Bluejoint)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Calamagrostis canadensis

Calamagrostis canadensis (Michx.) P. Beauv.


Poaceae (Grass Family)


USDA Symbol: caca4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N), SPM (N)

This perennial, clump-forming grass grows to a height of 3-5 ft. Many slender stems arise from small rhizomes; each topped by a large, slightly nodding, branched inflorescence. The inflorescence is purplish when in flower, becoming tan later in the season. Blue-joint grass stands up well in winter.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DE , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SD , TN , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Transcontinental Canada, s. to NC mts., KS, NM & CA
Native Habitat: Marshes; wet prairies & open woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist to wet soils.
Conditions Comments: This species is the most frequent grass associate of sedges and is a valuable wetlands restoration species.


Description: Propagate by seed or rhizome division.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Seed requrie cold-moist stratification for 5 days before incubation with KNO3 and light.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

North American Native Plant Society - Etobicoke, ON
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store


Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Calamagrostis canadensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Calamagrostis canadensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Calamagrostis canadensis


Record Last Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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