Phalaris aquatica | ‘Bulbous Canary-grass’, ‘Harding Grass’

List of Phalaris Clones: Phalaris aquatica

Phalaris aquatica is an attractive ornamental grass, available in many varieties and cultivars, which is commonly grown on the shores of lakes and ponds and along the edges of riverbanks.

This list of Phalaris clones is incomplete (let us know if you have any relevant information) and is heavily indebted to the work of the marvellous Johnny Appleseed and Keeper Trout, among others!

Phalaris aquatica Clones

Phalaris aquatica ‘AQ-1’
No list of Phalaris aquatica clones would be complete without this sought-after cultivar! A popular, attractive clone originating from Italian material collected in 1992 by botanical Italian researchers Franco Festi and Giorgio Samorini. We sometimes stock a limited quantity of this clone in our shop.

Phalaris aquatica ‘Australian’ (syn. Phalaris aquatica ‘Australia’, Phalaris aquatica ‘Australis’, Phalaris aquatica ‘Commercial Australian’; ‘Toowoomba Canary Grass’)
Apparently originating from seeds brought to Australia from the Agricultural Department of New York State in 1884, which in turn is believed to have come from material collected in Italy. Well-adapted to milder, moist winters and hot dry summers (when it goes dormant should it get too hot and dry). Responds well to relatively high levels of fertiliser. A vigorous, drought-resistant and waterlogging-tolerant strain once established (although young seedlings – which often have pink stem bases – tend to be weak and rather slow-growing, at least in our experience). We stock seed (and sometimes plants) of this aquatica variety in our shop.

Phalaris aquatica ‘CPI 19305 Morocco’
Originating from material collected on a pink-brown clay / clay loam at an elevation of seven hundred metres. The collection site was at Za Sidi Rehal, fifty-five kilometres west of the Moroccan town of Amizmiz. This type displays comparatively higher winter production and a consistently higher annual production than both Phalaris aquatica ‘Australian’ and Phalaris aquatica ‘Sirocco’.

Phalaris aquatica ‘CPI 19331 Morocco’
A strain which was reportedly collected from a population growing on the banks of Oued Sebou, at Boukraoua, Morocco.

Phalaris aquatica ‘CPI 24947’
A clone selected from Phalaris aquatica ‘Pergamino No. 1’.

Phalaris aquatica ‘CPI 25779’
This strain was selected from Phalaris aquatica ‘Pergamino No. 1’.

Phalaris aquatica El Golea’ (‘Reg. No. A-3a-5’)
Selected for its seed retention characteristics and reportedly derived from Phalaris aquatica ‘CPI 19305 Morocco’. Closer in appearance to Phalaris aquatica ‘Sirocco’ than Phalaris aquatica ‘Australian’, forming a larger seed head. Fairly easy to establish but reported to slow down from the second year onward.

Phalaris aquatica ‘GB81’

Phalaris aquatica ‘High Alkaloid’

Phalaris aquatica ‘Killer’ (‘Killer Phalaris’)
Originated from Phalaris aquatica ‘Uneta’ / ‘Unita’, but may no longer be synonymous due to multiple generations of unregulated propagation.

Phalaris aquatica ‘Pergamino No. 1’ (‘El Gaucho’)
A type which is reported to be almost indistinguishable from Phalaris aquatica ‘Australian’, developed in Argentina and displaying improved seed retention and a greater range of general variation.

Phalaris aquatica ‘Seedmaster’ (syn. Phalaris aquatica ‘Siro Seedmaster’; ‘Reg. No. A-3a-2’ )
Bred from Phalaris aquatica ‘CPI 24947’ and Phalaris aquatica ‘CPI 25779’ for seed retention and vigour. Vegetatively less productive and almost indistinguishable from Phalaris aquatica ‘Australian’ (it produces broader, shorter seeds, a more compact seedhead and there are some differences between the flowers too).

Phalaris aquatica ‘Sirocco’ (‘Reg. No. A-3a-3’)
Derived from Phalaris aquatica ‘CPI 19331 Morocco’, this strain is allegedly more drought-tolerant and faster growing than Phalaris aquatica ‘Australian’. However, it’s roughly equivalent in terms of seed production. A cultivar which notably goes dormant over the summer months, often producing pink to red growing tips.

Phalaris aquatica ‘Sirosa’
Presumably originating from either Phalaris aquatica ‘Siro’ or Phalaris aquatica ‘Sirocco’? We sell seeds of this variety – and occasionally live plants – in our shop.

Phalaris aquatica ‘Stenoptera’ (syn. Phalaris stenoptera; ‘Holdfast Harding-grass’, ‘Peruvian Wintergrass’)
Reportedly an Australian cultivar which is now naturalised to parts of California and the Pacific Northwest. We’re privileged in that we sometimes sell this rare aquatica variety in our shop.

Phalaris aquatica ‘Uneta’ (syn. Phalaris aquatica ‘Unita’; ‘Reg. No. A-3a-7’)
Selected from Phalaris aquatica ‘Australian’ (with which it remains quite similar in appearance) for improved seed retention.