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GLYCERIA maxima

Image of Glyceria maxima

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

GLYCERIA maxima

Plant Common Name

Manna Grass, Reed Sweetgrass

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

The vigorous, densely foliage, spreading reed sweetgrass adds weeping foliage to shallow edges and waters of lakes, ponds and streambanks. A perennial aquatic that spreads by rhizomes (underground stems), it is native to a large area of temperate Europe and Asia, from Great Britain eastward to Japan. The leaves are strap-like and first emerge pink before deepening to a deep green and bend gracefully over as they lengthen. In mid and late summer, small spikelets of purple-green flowers form on slender stems in the dense clump of foliage. Growing in shallow water to the wet soils at the edges of ponds, the stems can provide cover for a variety of fish, insects, and amphibians in its native lands, but has done the opposite in regions were it is introduced and taken over ecosystems.

Reed sweetgrass thrives in a very wet soil, either completely submerged in freshwater, or in saturated, mucky soil on land. This aquatic grass will spread indefinitely, thickly vegetating an aquatic ecosystem. The decorative cultivar 'Variegata' is the only form appropriate for monitored growth by gardeners as it boasts bright variegated foliage colored white, creamy pale yellow, and dark green.

Reed sweetgrass has proven very problematic with its fast growth and invasiveness in both North America and Australia. Do not introduce this plant to any natural body of water, and certainly restrict the variegated form in a container to ensure it can be managed.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Aquatics

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    24"-32" / 61.0cm - 81.3cm

  • Width

    24"-100" / 61.0cm - 254.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Central Asia, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Thicket/Colonizing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green, Purple

  • Fruit Color

    Tan, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green, Pink

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Yes