Botanical: Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Overdam'
Common: Ornamental Grass
General Characteristics: Overdam' is a feather reed grass cultivar, which is valued for its variegated foliage, early bloom, vertical lines and ability to grow in wet soils. It is a slowly-spreading, clump-forming, cool season ornamental grass which features a compact, erect, slightly arching, slender foliage clump (to 1' tall and 2' wide) of stiff, narrow leaves variegated with rich green and white stripes. Leaves produce little fall color, eventually turning tan in winter. In June, tightly vertical flower stalks rise above the foliage to 3' tall bearing narrow inflorescences of feathery, pinkish-green flowers, which turn golden as the seeds mature in summer and eventually tan. Clumps generally provide good continuing winter interest. Similar to Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' except 'Overdam' clumps are more compact and foliage is variegated.
Ornamental Grasses are gaining in popularity all over the U.S. due to their undemanding nature and long lasting, year round beauty. There is nothing that adds such interesting forms, textures and movement to a garden, than with this diverse plant group. They can be planted along banks of ponds, incorporated into perennial gardens, grouped together, utilized as a ground cover along walkways, paths or on steep banks. They aren't fussy about soil requirements, are drought tolerant as well as insect and disease resistant.
Tip: Easily grown in average, medium to wet soil in full sun. Does well in heavy clay soils, unlike many of the other ornamental grasses. Prefers moist, rich soils, which do not dry out. Blooms in light shade, and appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Best foliage variegation usually occurs in cool northern climates. Cut clumps to the ground in late winter just before the new shoots appear. This grass will not self-seed in the garden because seeds are sterile.
Use: Mass, group or specimen. This is an excellent vertical accent for borders and for narrow spaces in the landscape. It is also effective in moist low spots or on pond/stream banks.