University of Illinois Extension
Ribbon Grass - Ornamental Grasses - University of Illinois Extension

Types of Ornamental Grasses

Ribbon Grass
Phalaris arundinacea

Zone: 4-8

Height: 3-4 feet

Ribbon Grass is an old ornamental grass that has the reputation for being very invasive. This grass has a place in the garden as a ground cover in tough sites or where nothing else seems to want to grow. It needs to be used with caution as it does spread. The variegated forms form attractive clumps. Two cultivars of ribbon grass are preferred. They are 'Picata' and 'Feesey's Form'. Both of these tend to be less invasive and easier to control. Flowers are white and occur from June-October. Ribbon grass is tolerant of a wide range of soils from dry, to moist, to wet and of sites from sun to shade. When planted in the shade, the plants tend not to be as aggressive and are better behaved.