Glyceria maxima

Height: 60-90cm (2-3ft)

Water depth: up to 15cm (6in)

Features: foliage

Soil: moist

Site: sun or partial shade

Type: marginal

The bright green, 1.2-1.8m (4-6ft) tall Glyceria maxima (syn. G. aquatica, C. spectabilis), a plant of wet meadows and watersides, is far too robust for the average pond. The form variegata, however, is more compact, controllable and beautiful. It will grow in dry soil, although the leaves rend to lose their colour as the summer progresses. The waterside, or even shallow water up to a depth of 15cm (6in), is better.

In spring, young leaf shoots of green striped with pink-tlushed-white emerge. As the long, narrow leaves open out, the pink fades and grassy sprays of tiny flowers appear.


Plant in spring in a sunny or lightly shaded position by the water’s edge, or in pots in up to 15cm (6in) of water. If planting above the water level, the soil ideally should be moisture-retentive.

Except when it is grown to stabilize a bank, grow it in a container, to prevent it becoming invasive.

Propagation: Lift and divide in spring.

Pests and diseases: Trouble free.

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