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Calamagrostis canadensis

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About Canada Reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis) Calamagrostis canadensis is a species of grass known by the common names bluejoint and Canadian reedgrass. It is native to most of northern North America, including most all of Canada and all of the continental United States except for the South. It can be found in many types of habitat, including forest, taiga, and tundra in subarctic regions. It is the most common and widespread Calamagrostis species on the continent. It is a perennial grass with a branching stem reaching heights between 60 centimeters and 1.5 meters. The flat, drooping leaves are rough with tiny hairs. The flower cluster is up to 25 centimeters long and may be open and loose or narrow and densely packed with spikelets. Each spikelet is about half a centimeter long and purplish in color. It is a palatable food plant for livestock and wild grazing animals. It is a tough rhizomatous grass that provides soil stability in wet areas and is one of the first plants to reestablish on sites of recent oil spills. It can be a nuisance on sites of forest revegetation because it can outcompete conifer seedlings.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
2 - 5 ft (0.6 - 1.5 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Bogs, moist meadows and open places

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
175' - 13501'

Annual Precip. ?
6.9" - 152.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.26" - 5.60"

Coldest Month ?
18.7° F - 52.8° F

Hottest Month ?
40.8° F - 77.4° F

Humidity ?
0.36 vpd - 24.50 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers loamy or clay soils. Grows poorly in sandy soils.


Landscaping Information
Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment; 5 days stratification may improve germination.

Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Canadian Reedgrass, Bluejoint

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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