Arundo donax Variegata or the Variegated Spanish Reed. Arundo donax Variegata is a very tropical looking and absolutely enormous ornamental grass, which is very fast growing forming massive clumps in a few years. The growth is almost bamboo-like, easily reaching 3m plus high, with green striped white foliage up to 45cm long. The dormant canes are showy all winter, but when cut down to ground level in late winter the new growth explodes to full height again in a matter of weeks. Variegated Spanish Reed is good at the back of a border or as a specimen plant in gravel gardens, or it can be used to form a high screen very quickly. It gives a movement to the garden as it sway and rustles with the lightest of breezes.
Although often considered as borderline for hardiness it will take low freezing temperatures in its stride once established.
It is not particularly fussy about soil type, as long as it is moist and grown in full sun in a sheltered location. For the best foliage, it is advisable to cut growth back to the base annually. If you desire an absolutely enormous plant, leave the old stems on, and they will form an impenetrable thicket. Feed them a high-nitrogen fertiliser and it will probably explode!
Common Name: Variegated Spanish Reed
Latin name: Arundo donax Variegata
Tenderness Rating: Hardy down to -10C once established. Should be mulched during the winter in colder parts of the country.
Ease of growing: Easy.
Position: Prefers full sun.
Soil Condition: Moist, humus rich well drained soil and respond well to a high nitrogen feed in the spring for explosive growth!
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