Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
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 2-5 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.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall, occasionally to 6 feet.
Leaf: Green

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 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 Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

North American Native Plant Society - Etobicoke, ON
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

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 Modified: 2022-12-02
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back