German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

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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)

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…

26-02-2019

This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training

22-01-2019

During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group

04-09-2018

Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?

01-03-2018

On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released

28-02-2018

Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised

25-01-2018

The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more