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February 2008
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Variegated Arundo Donax

‘Variegata’ is a more controlled and illuminating form of Giant Reed Grass, serving as a strong focal point in the landscape. This Giant Reed Grass has creamy yellow/white variegated foliage, but does not grow quite as large as the species. The same great impressive flowers and winter interest as species, just a different color.
A tall growing ornamental grass that will add an architectural touch to any planting scheme. Plants spread by underground rhizomes forming attractive leafy clumps that will make a bold statement at the back of border. The variety ‘Variegata’ has a broad yellow stripe along its leaves. Variegated forms are more tender than the plain green ones so plant in a sheltered spot away from strong winds. The flowers which appear in late autumn are purplish green and remain on the plant once growth dies back. Dormant canes are showy all winter.
Native to the Mediterranean region, giant reed has been widely introduced and is now common in many parts of the world, including the southern U.S. from California to Florida and northward on the East Coast to Maryland. It can be found growing on river banks and in ditches. Giant reed often is planted to control erosion on wet slopes and canal banks. It can be an invasive weed in tropical climates, clogging irrigation ditches and displacing native species in natural wetlands. Giant reed is not invasive in temperate regions.
Grasses are easy to grow, and adapts to most conditions & Giant reed grows best and gets largest with lots of water during the growing season. It thrives in soils that stay moist, and can even tolerate occasional standing water. Unlike most reeds, however, giant reed also does well in average garden soils, where it will not get as large nor spread as aggressively. It even tolerates drought. USDA Zones 6 – 11. Giant reed gets largest in frost-free climates where it grows to 20 ft (6.1 m) and stays evergreen. It dies to the ground in frosty areas, and may not flower, but it comes back in spring to get 10-12 ft (3-3.7 m) tall in a single growing season.
Feed once a year with a slow release fertilizer.

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