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Illinois Native Plant Guide - Blue Joint Grass - Pages 48-49

Illinois Native Plant Guide

Blue Joint Grass
Calamagrostis canadensis

Preferred Water Depth and Inundation Tolerance

Prefers saturated soil. Tolerates temporary spring flooding up to a depth of 6 inches early in the season. Species does not tolerate permanent flooding.

Wildlife Value

Waterfowl eat seeds. Young plants are grazed by deer and muskrats.

Application/Zone

Used in upper shoreline zones and in vegetated swales.

Availability, Establishment, and Maintenance

  • Locally, plugs have been most successful. These should be planted on 0.5-1.5 foot centers because of their slow spread by rhizomes.
  • Soil should be moist to saturated, but not inundated during planting.
  • Established stands may be mowed in alternate years for maintenance.
  • C. canadensis rarely produces seed and even when it does, the seed is rarely viable.
  • Can spread agressively by rhizome under optimal conditions.

Blue Joint Grass
Calamagrostis canadensis

Mature HeightBlue Joint Grass
2-5 feet

Plant Type
Perennial grass

Indicator Status
Obligate

pH
5-8

Nutrient Load Tolerance
Low

Salt Tolerance
Low

Siltation Tolerance
Moderate

Flowering Color and Time
Brown
May to August

Light Preference
Full sun

Seeding Rate
.03 - .06 lbs/acre

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