Herb: Canary Grass

Latin name: Phalaris arundinacea

Synonyms: Phalaris japonica

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Description of the plant:


150 cm
(5 feet)

July to

Habitat of Canary Grass:

Wet places and shallow water.

Other uses of the herb:

Plants have a running root system and form an impenetrable ground cover. They should be mown 2 - 3 times in their first 2 - 3 years in order to encourage thick growth. Plants are best spaced about 60cm apart each way. The leaves have been woven into hats and mats. his is one of the main species used in the reed bed system for the water purification treatment of grey water and for irrigation with pollution control sewage effluent from municipal and industrial sources. One of the highest yielding fodder grasses with annual yields ranging from 8 - 20 tonnes per hectare, it has potential as a source of biomass.

Propagation of Canary Grass:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Wet places and shallow water.

Medicinal use of Canary Grass:

None known

Known hazards of Phalaris arundinacea:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.