Preferred Scientific Name
Cortaderia selloana (Schult. & Schult.f.) Asch & Graebn., 1900
Preferred Common Name
Other Scientific Names
Arundo selloana Schult. & Schult. F., 1827
Cortaderia argentea (Nees) Stapf, 1897
Cortaderia dioica Speg., 1902
Gynerium argenteum Nees, 1829
International Common Names
English: silver pampas grass; Uruguayan pampas grass
Spanish: cortadera; ginerio plumacho; hierba da las pampas; penacho
French: gynerion argente; herbe des pampas; roseau a plumes
Local Common Names
Brazil: bardeira; capim-do-pampas; paina; pluma
Germany: Silberweisses Pampasgras
Portugal: paina; plumas capim-das-pampas; ponacho-blanco erva-das-pampas
Spain: carrizo de la pampa
Summary of Invasiveness
selloana (pampas grass) is an erect perennial, tussock grass, up to 2-4 m tall and 1-2 m wide. It has large (1-3 m), glaucous-green leaves with serrulate margins. Inflorescences consist of several large plumose light-violet to silver-white panicles producing thousands of tiny wind-dispersed seeds. This South American grass has been introduced in temperate and subtropical areas mainly as an ornamental. It has also been introduced for erosion control and as a barrier or windbreak. It is listed as one of the worst invader taxa in Europe (DAISIE, 2009) and as a noxious species in Western Australia (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 2001).
It forms dense, often impenetrable, stands that can damage grazing lands and affect visibility on roads. Pampas grass increases its density and colonizes semi-natural areas in a short period of time, being a threat to native plant diversity. Due to low decomposition rates of standing dead leaves and senescing panicles, it increases fire risk. The sharp leaves can produce superficial cuts and flowers may provoke allergies in summer.
selloana is an erect perennial, tussock grass, up to 2-4 m tall and 1-2 m wide. The leaves are 1-3 m long and 3-8 cm wide, glaucous-green, with serrulate margins and a V-shaped cross-section. The leaves are contained in groups in an auricle-like sheath often glabrous at the base. Inflorescences consist of several large plumose light-violet to silver-white (30-130 cm) long, stiff panicles. It is a gynodioecious species (i.e. it has hermaphrodite plants and female plants). It forms numerous 1.5 cm spikelets, containing six florets in female plants and three in hermaphrodite plants. Florets are less than 1 cm long, glumes are white or membranous, the lemma is long and hairy, awns are less than half a centimeter long and the stigmas are exerted. Seeds are not easily separated from the racilla (DiTomaso, 2000) and they weigh, on average, 2.74 x 10-4 g.
Grass / sedge