Phalaris aquatica (syn. Phalaris tuberosa) | ‘Bulbous Canary Grass’, ‘Harding Grass’ | Seeds
A perennial bunch grass with similar growth habits and requirements to Phalaris brachystachys, Phalaris aquatica originally hails from the Caucasus and Southern Europe, although it is now also naturalised to countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.
Sowing aquatica from seed (a very easy process) results in large bunches of stout, waist-high, plants with grey to blue to green leaves and dense, spiky, flowering heads that grow up to roughly thirteen centimetres or so. Aquatica enjoys incredible growth throughout the spring and autumn, and is consequently considered to be an invasive species across chaparral, grassland, oak woodland and riparian habitats. When purposefully cultivating the species, it is advisable to protect the bunches of grass from any heavy or sustained freezes.
Several desirable cultivars of aquatica exist, notably ‘AQ1’, ‘Australis’, ‘Sirosa’ and ‘Uneta’. A few interesting hybrids have also been created that combine the species with its cousin Phalaris arundinacea. Essential to any serious ethnobotanical collection!
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced in 2018