A vigorous hardy perennial grass with tall attractive leaves. Phalaris retains its appearance throughout winter, providing good all-year-round interest.
Family: Poaceae or Gramineae
Botanical Name: Phalaris (fa-lah-ris)
Common Names: Gardener's garters, ribbon grass, reed canary grass, bride's laces.
Foliage: Distinctive, narrow, arching green leaves. Good variegated forms are available.
Flowers: Insignificant green or purple flowers.
Flowering Period: Early to mid summer.
Soil: Well-drained soil (Chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH. Avoid waterlogged conditions.
Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Plant in an east, west or south facing aspect.
Habit: Tufted, clump forming.
Type: Rhizomatous perennial.
Origin: Mediterranean Regions.
Hardiness: Hardy in the UK.
Plant from mid autumn to mid spring in any good, well-drained garden soil. Full sun or partial shade.
Spreads rapidly and can be invasive, therefore grow in a location where it can be easily confined. A good way to restrict spread is by growing the plant in a pot sunk into the ground.
Cut back the old leaves in summer to retain variegation.
Generally trouble free.
Lift, divide and replant established clumps from mid autumn to mid spring.
Phalaris arundinacea is an aggressive spreading perennial grass. Height 2-5ft (60cm-1.5m), spread 2ft (60cm). The variety 'Picta' is a popular less vigorous form with broadly linear green leaves, variegated with longitudinal cream stripes. Cultivar 'Feesey' is a slightly shorter form with more brilliant white variegation, flushed pink in spring.
Phalaris canariensis is a tufted grass with attractive ovate spikes. The source of canary feed. Flowers mid summer. Height 18in (45cm).