Feather reed grass 'Avalanche' Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Avalanche'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Feather reed grass 'Avalanche'


'Avalanche' is a clump-forming, deciduous grass to 1.5m high with green leaves with a white central band and narrow panicles of purplish flowers in summer, fading to golden brown and persisting through winter

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Feather Reed Grass, Avalanche Grass, Variegated Feather Reed Grass

    • Common names

      Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Avalanche'

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Offers striking vertical lines and feathery texture to gardens with its variegated foliage and graceful flower plumes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it is relatively drought-resistant, requiring less water compared to many other garden plants.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care beyond the first year, making it an ideal choice for gardeners seeking low-effort landscaping options.
    • Fast Growth: Quickly reaches its full height each season, providing a rapid visual impact in garden design.
    • Seasonal Interest: Offers year-round interest with green and white foliage in spring and summer, transforming to golden hues in the fall and providing structure in winter.
    • Erosion Control: Its robust root system helps stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes or in areas prone to soil loss.
    • Wildlife Attraction: Attracts birds, which feed on its seeds, and provides cover for ground-dwelling creatures, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Privacy Screen: Can be used to create natural, living barriers that provide privacy without the harsh appearance of fences or walls.
    • Compatibility with Other Plants: Complements a wide range of other garden plants and flowers, fitting well into various garden styles and themes.
    • Disease and Pest Resistance: Generally resistant to common garden pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical treatments.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Privacy screening: 'Avalanche' Feather Reed Grass can be planted in rows to form a semi-transparent screen, providing privacy while still allowing light to filter through.
    • Noise reduction: The dense foliage of this grass can help to dampen noise pollution when planted along roadsides or between property lines.
    • Erosion control: The root system of 'Avalanche' Feather Reed Grass helps to stabilize soil on slopes and embankments, preventing soil erosion.
    • Winter interest: The tall, upright stems of this grass remain visually appealing throughout winter, adding texture and movement to otherwise barren landscapes.
    • Habitat creation: 'Avalanche' Feather Reed Grass can provide shelter and nesting material for birds and small wildlife within a garden setting.
    • Photography backdrop: The striking form and feathery plumes of this grass serve as an appealing backdrop for outdoor photography.
    • Educational tool: It can be used in schools and educational programs to teach about plant growth, lifecycle, and ornamental horticulture.
    • Artistic inspiration: Artists and designers may utilize 'Avalanche' Feather Reed Grass within compositions or as inspiration for textiles, patterns, and other designs.
    • Event decoration: The grass can be used in its live form or as cut stems to add a natural element to special events such as weddings or parties.
    • Garden structuring: 'Avalanche' Feather Reed Grass can be used as a vertical element in garden design, helping to create structure and define garden spaces.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Feather Reed Grass is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Feather Reed Grass is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: 'Avalanche' Feather Reed Grass is known for its sturdy and resilient nature, symbolizing the ability to withstand challenges and remain strong.
    • Flexibility: This grass sways gently with the wind, exemplifying flexibility and the grace of adapting to changing circumstances without breaking.
    • Breath of Life: The feathery, upright plumes are reminiscent of free-flowing breath or energy, often representing life force and inspiration.
    • Privacy: With its tall and dense growth, it is often used as a natural screen, symbolizing the need for personal space and privacy.
    • Elegance: The 'Avalanche' Feather Reed Grass has a sophisticated and elegant appearance, representing beauty and simplicity.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not needed
Late Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Feather Reed Grass prefers consistent moisture, especially during its active growing season in the spring and summer. Water this grass deeply once a week, providing about 1 to 1.5 inches of water each time to ensure the root zone is thoroughly moistened. During hot, dry periods, you may need to water more frequently to maintain moisture levels, but always allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Reduce watering in the fall to prepare the plant for winter and to avoid excessive moisture around the roots which can be damaging.

  • sunLight

    Feather Reed Grass thrives in full sun conditions, receiving at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. It can tolerate partial shade, but too much shade can lead to floppy growth. The ideal spot for this ornamental grass is an open area without shade from trees or buildings that could limit its exposure to sunlight.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Feather Reed Grass is hardy and adapts to a wide range of temperatures. It can survive winter temperatures down to -20°F and is comfortable in summer temperatures up to 90°F. Ideally, Feather Reed Grass prefers the temperature to remain within the range of 60°F to 75°F for optimal growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    Feather Reed Grass should be pruned to remove old, dead foliage and to make way for new growth. The best time to prune is late winter to early spring, before new shoots appear. Cut back the foliage to about 4 inches from the ground. Pruning once a year is sufficient to maintain the health and appearance of the plant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Feather Reed Grass requires well-draining soil with a pH between 5.8 and 7.5. A mix with loam, compost, and sand or perlite in equal parts is ideal to promote drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Feather Reed Grass is often grown as a perennial outdoor plant, so repotting is not typically required. If it is grown in containers, it can be repotted every 2-3 years or when it outgrows its pot.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Feather Reed Grass is adaptable and does not require specific humidity conditions, thriving well in average outdoor humidity levels.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, occasional watering.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-draining soil, occasional water.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA.

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Avalanche', commonly known as the 'Avalanche' Feather Reed Grass, begins with seed germination in the late spring to early summer when conditions are optimal, including warm temperature and moist soil. The plant then enters a juvenile vegetative stage, where it develops a clump of narrow, arching green leaves with a distinctive white midrib. As the plant matures, it enters the flowering stage in early to mid-summer, producing tall, erect flower plumes that are initially purplish-green and then turn to a golden tan as they mature and set seed. After setting seed, the plant gradually enters a period of senescence in late fall or winter, where growth slows and the plant goes dormant, although the foliage and seed heads may persist, offering visual interest in the winter landscape. In early spring, before new growth commences, old foliage should be trimmed away to make room for fresh growth. The cycle repeats annually, with the plant capable of living several years and expanding in clump size through vegetative propagation.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late Spring-Early Summer

    • Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Avalanche', commonly known as the Feather Reed Grass 'Avalanche', is typically propagated by division, which is widely regarded as the most popular and successful method. The best time for dividing this grass is in the early spring when new growth begins. To propagate by division, you would dig up an established clump of the grass, using a sharp shovel or spade to split the root ball into sections. Each section should have a good amount of roots and several shoots. These divisions can then be replanted in a prepared area with adequate space for the mature size of the grass. Care should be taken to keep the divisions well-watered until they are established, which helps them to rapidly grow and develop into healthy, full-sized plants.