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Pacific Reedgrass
Calamagrostis nutkaensis

About Pacific Reedgrass (Calamagrostis nutkaensis) Calamagrostis nutkaensis is a species of grass known by the common names Pacific Reedgrass and Nootka Reedgrass. It is native to western North America from Alaska to San Luis Obispo County, where it is mainly a coastal species growing in moist areas such as beaches, dunes, coastal woodlands and wetlands. This is a perennial grass forming thick tufts of stems which may exceed a meter in height. There are several flat grass leaves up to a centimeter wide. The flower cluster is usually narrow and thin. This is a popular ornamental grass for the north coast.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 ft (1 m)


Flower Color

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Wet places, beaches,, dunes, woodland edges

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
-51' - 5980'

Annual Precip. ?
11.8" - 154.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.20" - 5.76"

Coldest Month ?
34.7° F - 51.0° F

Hottest Month ?
53.4° F - 73.1° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 18.57 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.8


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Sunset Zones ?
4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Companion Plants
Use with other wet area plants such as Sedge (Carex or Cyperus sp.), Spikerush (Eleocharis sp.), Bullrush (Schoeoplectus or Scirpus sp.), and Cattail (Typha sp.), and with trees/shrubs of the north coast such as Fir (Abies sp.), Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.), Ceanothus sp., Coast Silk Tassel (Garrya elliptica), Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor), Tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus), Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Currant/Gooseberry (Ribes sp.), Snowberry (Symphoricarpos sp.), Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica), and Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)

Butterflies hosted ?

Apamea maxima Image
Apamea maximaApamea maxima

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
Keep moist
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Nootka Reed Grass, Nootka Reedgrass, Pacific Reed Grass

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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