Achnatherum calamagrostis - Spear Grass, Needle Grass, Silver Spike Grass

aka Stipa calamagrostis

This fine-textured grass is grown for the colourful early blooming flowers. From June on through the growing season, the tan blossoms remain attractive into the winter. This plant sways beautifully in a breeze.

This variety is seed grown and therefore can vary considerable from one plant to the next.

Worth growing because it is so utterly graceful.

We are very pleased to be able to display the photo of Allan's magnificent plant growing in northern Oregon, in the Columbia River valley, where summers are very hot.

Description: cool season; clump forming
Foliage - grey-green; the blades are narrow; 50-70 cm (20-28") tall
Flowers - June-July; 80-100 cm (32-40") tall

Ideal growing conditions: part shade to full sun (with ample water); moist, well drained, fertile soil; tolerates poor soil with ample water; more drought tolerant in partial shade

Coldest zone: 5, possibly colder (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Partner with: Persicaria polymorpha, Achillea, Nepeta

Recommended spacing between plants: 50-90cm (20-36") why such a difference?

Season of interest: June to winter

Drought tolerance rating: 2 (water to root depth once every 2 weeks); further info

Native to: naturalized in central and southern Europe at high elevations

Pronunciation: Achnatherum (ack-NATH-er-um) calamagrostis (kal-ah-mah-GROS-tis)


More ornamental grasses

Compare Achnatherum calamagrostis to our other grasses in this handy chart.


Achnatherum calamagrostis - Spear Grass
Achnatherum calamagrostis - Spear Grass
Photo credit for main photo: Allan, Gold Hill, Oregon, Zone 7