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Audubon® Prairie Cord Grass
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A big, bold, vigorous Fringe for wet soils! Prairie Cord Grass is a useful plant for people caring for wetlands on large properties. This tough, fast-growing native will colonize pond sides, streambanks, and bog margins, making a strong stand against the terrible Reed Canary Grass, an invasive, exotic plant that inevitably tries to take over these areas. Instead, Prairie Cord Grass will hold that space, while providing real benefits to the land and to wildlife. The dense root system keeps the soil from washing away, the foliage feeds several species of moths, and the leafy cover provides nesting habitat for secretive water birds.
May Benefit & Attract: chickadees & titmice, finches, cardinals & grosbeaks, crows & jays, sparrows, nuthatches, woodpeckers
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
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One of our tallest native grasses, Prairie Cord Grass can reach seven feet tall in the rich, moist soils that it prefers. It makes imposing stands of foliage in its native haunts—the wetlands and low-lying meadows of the Midwest. It grows most abundantly there, though it can also be found throughout much of Canada and south to Oregon, Texas, and Tennessee. In late summer, Prairie Cord Grass waves its airy plumes high in the air. By fall, these wind-pollinated flowers have become seeds that feed ducks and geese.
Prairie Cord Grass serves as a host plant for several moth species, some of which can only survive on Cord Grass. Just another reminder of the importance of growing a variety of native plants in your landscape—some animal species are very particular in their eating habits!
How to Grow
Site Prairie Cord Grass in full sun if possible; it will also accept a part-sun exposure. Constantly moist soil will produce the best results, although this plant will grow in regular garden soil as long as it doesn’t dry out too much. Prairie Cord Grass is a warm-season grower, which means that it gets off to a slow start in the spring. It quickly makes up for lost time, shooting up in late spring and early summer. It spreads steadily; do not site it next to delicate plants. You should know that Prairie Cord Grass’s leaf blades are razor-sharp—wear gloves when working with it!
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