Search

 The Plant Store

The plant store is now closed for the season.
I'll be winter sowing through the fall and early winter and potting up seedlings again come spring for the 2023 sale.

Calamagrostis canadensis

Calamagrostis canadensis

Canadian Bluejoint

While the Eurasian Calamagrostis hybrids, most notably Karl Foerster, are widely planted in tended landscapes, the native members of the genus are less well known in garden and landscape circles. This is partially due to the clump forming nature of Karl Foerster fitting into the currently popular minimalist garden aesthetic, but there are definitely spaces where native Calamagrostis are a perfect fit.

In a wet meadow in Perth, where the Orange Jewelweed of yesterday’s post thrive, Canada Bluejoint makes up a great deal of the body and background of the colourful tapestry of plants. Growing among Joe-Pye-Weed, Common Boneset, Swamp Milkweed, Blue Vervain and Orange Jewelweed, Giant Goldenrod, Smallspike False Nettle and Allegheny Monkeyflower, among many other species.

They have a naturally spreading nature and very much adapted to high moisture settings, like the seasonally flooded hydro cut in Perth, wetlands and riversides. When planted in dryer settings they are far less vigorous and may not even survive. If you have a sunny shoreline that would benefit from a strong grass, but you are looking for one that won’t be inclined to spread very far from the water’s edge, this species would be an excellent choice.

The same applies to a low or otherwise seasonally flooded area, like a ditch or drainage swale, where you would like to cultivate a complex plant community. These would both thrive in what might otherwise be a difficult to tend location and be naturally constrained from spreading far beyond the area by their aversion to dryer soils.