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Calamovilfa longifolia (Prairie sandreed)
Smith, R.W.

Calamovilfa longifolia

Calamovilfa longifolia (Hook.) Scribn.

Prairie Sandreed, Sandreed Grass

Poaceae (Grass Family)


USDA Symbol: calo

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Prairie Sand-reed is a 2-6 ft. sod-forming, perennial grass with a stiffly erect culm and long, tapering leaves. The seed head is 4-16 in. long with narrow, ascending branches. Prairie sand-reed stays green until frost, then cures well to remain effective in the winter landscape.


From the Image Gallery

1 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 6 feet tall, occasionally to almost 8 feet.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug


USA: CO , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NM , NY , OH , PA , SD , WI , WY
Canada: AB , SK
Native Distribution: Ont. to s.e. B.C., s. to IN, IL, KS, CO & n. ID
Native Habitat: Sandy hills, prairies & open woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: This is a good grass for erosion control in sandy blowout areas. Var. magna occurs on sand dunes of Ont. and the Great Lakes region. This variety is heavily pigmented purple. Var. longifolia occurs throughout the rest of the range. Both varieties are drought-tolerant.


Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

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

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native plants of dune erosion control in Michigan
May 30, 2008
We care for Lake Michigan dune near our home in New Buffalo and would like to provide erosion control with native species that will also enhance the beauty of the dune with long lasting flowers. The ...
view the full question and answer

From the National Organizations Directory

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

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


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

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