Pampas grass

Cortaderia selloana
Common pampas grass: Cortaderia selloana Common pampas grass: Cortaderia selloana

Common name:

Common pampas grass

Scientific name:

Cortaderia selloana (Poaceae)

Alternative common names:

Pampasgras; silwergras (Afrikaans)

Vigorous, tussock grass up to 3,5m in diameter, with flowering stalks up to 4m high. Greyish- or bluish-green leaves with rough margins. Silvery-white to pink or mauve, feathery inflorescences appear from February to April. This grass invades river banks and seasonally wet habitats

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    South America (Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    a. NEMBA – Category 1b b. Sterile cultivars or hybrids are not listed.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng

    How does it spread?

    This grass spreads by seeds and rhizomes

    Why is it a problem?

    It forms large clumps which displace smaller indigenous species

    What does it look like?

    General description: A robust, tussock grass growing up to 3,5m in diameter with flowering stalks reaching 4m high. Leaves: Long slender leaves with narrowly tapering tips and grey or bluish-green in colour, often v-shaped in cross-section with rough margins. Flowers: Feathery silvery-white to pink or mauve flowers appearing from February-April. Fruit/Seeds: Produces from an open panicle, containing a large number of seeds.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Mostly used as an ornamental and for mine dump stabilization

    Plant me instead alternatives

    East coast broomgrass (Miscanthus capensis), riverbed grass (Pennisetum macrourum), Cape thatching grass (Chondropetalum tectorum), papyrus (Cyperus papyrus)