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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
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsWater 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.
PropagationDescription: 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
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording 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
BibliographyBibref 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.
Bibref 1294 - 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
Web ReferenceWebref 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 resourcesUSDA: Find Calamagrostis canadensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Calamagrostis canadensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Calamagrostis canadensis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-12-02
Research By: TWC Staff