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PHALARIS arundinacea 'Dwarf Garters'

Image of Phalaris arundinacea var. picta 'Dwarf Garters'

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

PHALARIS arundinacea var. picta 'Dwarf Garters'

Plant Common Name

Canary Reedgrass, Dwarf Garters Ribbon Grass, Ribbon Grass

General Description

Ribbon grass ‘Dwarf Garter’ is an invasive perennial grass that grows very fast forming thick mats. It is thought to be native to Europe, though some suggest it is also native to North America. Ribbon grass is used as dwarf ornamental grass. The white flowers form in summer on branched, compact spikes on top of short stems and the seeds that follow dry to a buff/tan color. The white-striped leaves are linear, rough to the touch with finely toothed margins. The plant spreads by aggressive underground stems or rhizomes, but not seeds - Phalaris arundinacea var. picta is sterile.

Ribbon grass is a cool season grass and grows readily in moist to wet environments as well as dry conditions. It prefers full sun and tolerates a wide range of soils. It often browns out in summer and lacks the winter interest of many ornamental grasses. Ribbon grass is often used in containers, water features and landscapes, however it is extremely invasive in some locations and planting is prohibited. For more information about the invasiveness of ribbon grass, visit the Global Invasive Species Index at http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=394 .

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    12"-15" / 30.5cm - 38.1cm

  • Width

    0'-0' / 0.0m - 0.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    World/Pandemic, Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Pollution, Salt, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Mat-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    White, Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring) Modifier

    Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    White, Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    White, Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Yes

  • Self-Sowing

    No