Common Name:Pampas grass
Botanical name:Cortaderia selloana
Legal Status:NEMBA Category 1b
A member of the grass family growing 2-4m in height and robust and evergreen. Leaf blades are up to 1,8cm long and 5-7cm wide. They are V-shaped in cross-section and bluish green in colour. The upper surface is smooth at the base, but the tips are bristly and curled. The leaf edges are rough and sharp. Flowers consists of dense, feathery, 1-1,2m tall panicles that are light violet to cream or silvery white. The roots can spread to 4m in diameter and 4m in depth.
Where does this species come from?
The pampas grass is native to South America
Why is it a problem?
Pampas threatens the productivity of plantation forests and land of high conservation value. It has the ability to reach distant open spaces quickly and to blanket them with very rapid growth. Native turfland communities can be quickly overcome by the invasion of pampas. Pampas invades disturbed areas such as cleared bush margins, burned areas and firebreaks where it competes with and smothers other vegetation, and provides habitat for rats and mice. The buildup of dry material from pampas such as dead leaves, leaf bases and flowering stalks creates a significant fire hazard.
Means of reproduction?
Pampas grass spreads by seed and by plant fragments.
For more information: Invasive Species South Africa - Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)
City of Cape Town Invasive Species ID Kit - Click here to download a z-folder pamphlet on Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)