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Uruguayan pampas grass Cortaderia selloana

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
kor-tah-DER-ee-ah sel-oh-AY-nah
Description

Pampas grass is a large ornamental in the Poaceae (grass) family originating from South America. Large, dense, grassy mound, 6-10' x 6-10'. 

It prefers full sun and can add texture to a garden. These grasses produce tall, slim, weeping blades that can easily reach over a meter in length. The grass tends to congregate into tussocks, or clumps of grass. The showiest part of these plants is the tall silvery-white, feather-like plumes. These plumes are soft to the touch and make for an interesting accent in a garden which can be seen very well over other plants. 

Tolerant of wide range of soils, coastal and sandy conditions, is highly salt tolerant, drought tolerant, and is highly resistant to deer grazing.  It prefers full sun and well-drained soil and it needs abundant water and fertilizer during growing season. 

Proper spacing for these plants is about 10 feet apart. Best used as a specimen standing alone or against a backdrop of evergreens. Showy blooms in late summer and fall and are good in cut and dried arrangements. 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves areelongated, whip-like, very sharp on edges
  • Inflorescence is like a silvery-whiteplume ofr group of feathers
  • Leaf midrib not white as miscanthus

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: The blades of this grass have very sharp edges and is highly invasive in some areas of the United States

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Coastal Rain Garden Drought Tolerant Rock Garden Coastal Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Jet Streams TM'
  • 'Pumila'
  • 'Rose Feder'
'Jet Streams TM', 'Pumila', 'Rose Feder'
Tags:
#arching#showy flowers#drought tolerant#weedy#salt tolerant#winter interest#ornamental grass#high maintenance#fast growing#cpp#aggressive#deer resistant#feathery#tall grass#cutting garden#clumping#fantz#dried arrangements#dry soils tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#coastal plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Jet Streams TM'
  • 'Pumila'
  • 'Rose Feder'
'Jet Streams TM', 'Pumila', 'Rose Feder'
Tags:
#arching#showy flowers#drought tolerant#weedy#salt tolerant#winter interest#ornamental grass#high maintenance#fast growing#cpp#aggressive#deer resistant#feathery#tall grass#cutting garden#clumping#fantz#dried arrangements#dry soils tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#coastal plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cortaderia
    Species:
    selloana
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South America
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Very resistant to deer browsing.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 9 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Clumping
    Weeping
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Very Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gray/Silver
    Pink
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Tall, white-silver feathered plumed spiklets, look like feather plume, 1-2' above mound. Silver-white plumes with a pink blush; remains attractive until mid winter; good in dried arrangements; female plants produce more showy plumes than male plants
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Narrow leaf blades are very sharp. Numerous, whip-like, very sharp serrated margins
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought
    Pollution
    Salt
    Problems:
    Weedy