Alien Invasives

Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)


04 October 2016

Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

This plant is very similar to the Purple Pampas Grass and is easily confused. This is an extremely vigorous, tussock grass forming dense stands up to 3.5 metres in diameter with flowering stalks up to 4 metres high. The bluish-green leaves have rough margins that cut skin easily. Silvery-white to pink or mauve, feathery inflorescences appear from February to April. This grass invades river banks and seasonally wet habitats.

Other names
Pampasgras, Silwergras (Afrikaans)
Invasive status
NEMBA Category 1b (except sterile cultivars)

Pampas Grass
Originally from
South America (Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile
Where is it a problem?
Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng
How does it spread?
Spreading rhizome and seed dispersal by wind
Why is it a problem?
It forms large clumps which displace smaller indigenous species
Planting alternatives
East Coast Broomgrass (Miscanthus capensis), Riverbed Grass (Pennisetum macrourum), Cape Thatching Reed (Chondropetalum tectorum), Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus)
Mostly ornamental, but was also used in the past to stabilise mine dumps

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