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ornamental grass

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass

Arundo donax 'Golden Chain'

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Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass (Arundo donax 'Golden Chain') at Valley View Farms

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass foliage

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass (Arundo donax 'Golden Chain') at Valley View Farms

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  Spanish Reed


Looks like a bamboo or corn but this is a reed grass with broadly variegated sword-like leaves that hold their color; plant with a root barrier to help contain this spreader; smaller, less aggressive habit; a colorful garden accent

Ornamental Features

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass is primarily valued in the landscape or garden for its ornamental upright and spreading habit of growth. It features airy panicles of coppery-bronze flowers rising above the foliage from late summer to mid fall. Its attractive large sword-like leaves remain bluish-green in color with showy lemon yellow variegation throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Invasive

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Golden Chain Giant Reed Grass is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Screening  Garden  Naturalizing  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features
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