Page author: Don Knoke
Calamagrostis canadensis
bluejoint reedgrass

Distribution: Alaska to Quebec, south through the United States except for the Deep South

Habitat: Wet places, sea level to mid-elevations in the mountains

Flowers: Late June - August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Strongly rhizomatous perennial, the smooth culms 6-12 dm. tall.


Sheaths open, the collor glabrous to strongly pubescent; ligules membranous, 3-8 mm. long, usually lacerate; blades flat, scabrous, 3-8 mm. broad.


Inflorescence an open, diffuse panicle 15-25 cm. long; spikelets 1-flowered; glumes usually purplish, 2.5-6 mm. long, pointed, scabrous on the keel; lemma papery, shorter than the glumes, with a straight awn about the same length attached at midlength or above; palea shorter than the lemma, the rachilla prolonged behind the palea about 0.2-1.3 mm. and strongly bearded; callus hairs long and abundant.

Accepted Name:
Calamagrostis canadensis (Michx.) P. Beauv.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Calamagrostis anomala Suksd.
Calamagrostis atropurpurea Nash
Calamagrostis canadensis (Michx.) P. Beauv. var. imberbis (Stebbins) C.L. Hitchc. [HC]
var. canadensis – bluejoint reedgrass
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Calamagrostis canadensis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Calamagrostis canadensis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Calamagrostis canadensis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Calamagrostis canadensis photos.

USDA Plants: Calamagrostis canadensis information.

44 photographs:
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