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Pampas Grass

Cortaderia selloana

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Poaceae (Grass)
Also in this family:
Alpine Catstail, Alpine Foxtail, Alpine Meadow-grass, Annual Beard-grass, Annual Meadow-grass, Arrow Bamboo, Barren Brome Grass, Bearded Couch Grass, Bearded Fescue, Bermuda Grass, Black Bent, Black Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Moor-grass, Bog Hair-grass, Borrer's Saltmarsh Grass, Bread Wheat, Bristle Bent, Brown Bent, Brown Sedge, Bulbous Foxtail, Bulbous Meadow-grass, California Brome Grass, Canary Grass, Carnation Sedge, Cocksfoot, Cockspur, Common Bent, Common Cord-grass, Common Millet, Common Reed, Common Saltmarsh Grass, Compact Brome Grass, Corn, Couch Grass, Creeping Bent, Creeping Soft-grass, Crested Dog's-tail, Crested Hair-grass, Cultivated Oat, Curved Hard Grass, Cut Grass, Dense Silky Bent, Downy Oat-grass, Drooping Brome Grass, Drooping Tor Grass, Dune Fescue, Early Hair-grass, Early Meadow-grass, Early Sand-grass, False Brome Grass, False Oat-grass, Fern Grass, Fine-leaved Sheep's Fescue, Flattened Meadow-grass, Floating Sweet-grass, Foxtail Barley, French Oat, Giant Fescue, Glaucous Meadow-grass, Great Brome Grass, Greater Quaking Grass, Grey Hair-grass, Hairy Brome Grass, Hairy Finger-grass, Hard Fescue, Hard Grass, Harestail Grass, Heath Grass, Holy Grass, Hybrid Marram Grass, Italian Rye Grass, Knotroot Bristlegrass, Lesser Hairy Brome Grass, Lesser Quaking Grass, Loose Silky Bent, Lyme Grass, Marram Grass, Marsh Foxtail, Mat Grass, Mat-grass Fescue, Meadow Barley, Meadow Fescue, Meadow Foxtail, Meadow Oat-grass, Mountain Melick, Narrow-leaved Meadow-grass, Narrow-leaved Small-reed, Neglected Couch Grass, Nit Grass, Orange Foxtail, Perennial Rye Grass, Plicate Sweet-grass, Purple Moor-grass, Purple Small-reed, Purple-stem Catstail, Quaking Grass, Ratstail Fescue, Red Fescue, Reed Canary Grass, Reed Sweet-grass, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass, Rescue Grass, Rough Meadow-grass, Rush-leaved Fescue, Sand Catstail, Sand Couch Grass, Scandinavian Small-reed, Scottish Small-reed, Sea Barley, Sea Couch Grass, Sea Fern Grass, Sheep's Fescue, Silver Hair-grass, Six-rowed Barley, Slender Brome Grass, Small Cord-grass, Small Sweet-grass, Smaller Catstail, Smooth Brome Grass, Smooth Cord-grass, Smooth Finger-grass, Smooth Meadow-grass, Soft Brome Grass, Somerset Hair-grass, Sorghum, Spreading Meadow-grass, Squirreltail Fescue, Stiff Brome Grass, Stiff Saltmarsh Grass, Sweet Vernal Grass, Tall Fescue, Timothy Grass, Tor Grass, Tufted Hair-grass, Two-rowed Barley, Upright Brome Grass, Velvet Bent, Viviparous Fescue, Wall Barley, Wavy Hair-grass, Wavy Meadow-grass, Whorl Grass, Wild Oat, Wood Barley, Wood Fescue, Wood Meadow-grass, Wood Melick, Wood Millet, Yellow Oat-grass, Yorkshire Fog
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
3 metres tall
Gardens, grassland, parks, riverbanks, riversides, roadsides, sand dunes, sea cliffs, seaside, towns, waterside, wetland.

White, no petals
Pampas Grass, with its feathery plumes and elegant fronds, boasts an allure that graces many a British garden. Its tufted flowers, creamy-white or blush-hued, sway gently in the breeze, lending a touch of ethereal beauty to the landscape. Resplendent in autumn, these blooms adorn the plant's towering stalks, adding a soft, romantic charm to the surrounding scenery. In the soft light of dawn or the golden glow of dusk, Pampas Grass flowers exude a serene elegance, captivating all who behold their delicate splendour.
Pampas Grass, known for its graceful plumes and striking appearance, bears fruit in the form of fluffy seed heads that emerge atop its tall stalks. These seed heads, often referred to as plumes or inflorescences, are composed of numerous small seeds attached to fine, hair-like filaments. Initially green, the seed heads gradually mature to a creamy-white or light tan colour, adding visual interest to the plant. As the wind blows through the grass, the feathery plumes sway delicately, dispersing seeds to propagate new growth. Despite their seemingly delicate nature, these seed heads play a crucial role in the reproductive cycle of Pampas Grass, ensuring its continued presence and proliferation in the landscape.
The leaves of Pampas Grass, with their long, slender blades, contribute to its distinctive and elegant appearance. Typically green in colour, these leaves can grow to considerable lengths, forming dense tufts at the base of the plant. Their serrated edges add texture and visual interest, while their graceful arching form creates a sense of movement in the breeze. Resilient and hardy, the leaves of Pampas Grass are adept at withstanding various weather conditions, from harsh winds to heavy rains. In autumn, they may take on hints of golden or bronze hues, adding warmth to the landscape as the seasons change. Whether framing the plant's towering plumes or standing tall on their own, the leaves of Pampas Grass contribute to its overall beauty and allure, making it a popular choice for ornamental landscaping in gardens across the UK.
The aroma of Pampas Grass is subtle yet distinctive, evoking a sense of freshness and vitality. As the gentle breeze rustles through its feathery plumes, a delicate fragrance is released, reminiscent of clean, earthy notes with a hint of sweetness. This natural perfume, infused with the essence of the surrounding landscape, carries hints of grassy undertones, subtly mingling with the crisp air of the countryside. Whether enjoyed up close in a garden setting or experienced from a distance in the open air, the aroma of Pampas Grass adds a touch of natural elegance to the sensory experience, captivating the senses with its understated allure.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Cortaderia selloana, also known as pampas grass, is a species of grass native to South America. It is a tall, perennial grass that can grow up to 3 meters tall, it has large leaves that are blue-green in color and feathery plumes of flowers that can reach up to 2 meters in length, they typically appear in late summer to fall. The flowers are usually white, cream, or pink.

It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and landscapes, it is prized for its large size and showy plumes, it can be used as a specimen plant, or planted in mass to create a striking effect. It is relatively easy to grow, it prefers well-drained soil and full sun, it is also tolerant of salt and wind. It can be propagated by seed or division, but it can be invasive and it tends to self-seed profusely, it's also known for it's wide spread rhizomes system. In some areas it is considered an invasive plant and can displace native vegetation and cause ecological problems. In such cases, it should be removed and replaced with non-invasive alternatives.

It is also known to be a fire hazard due to its large size, dry leaves and the easily flammable flowers that can create a fire in nearby surrounding.


Pampas grass, also known by its scientific name Cortaderia selloana, is a striking ornamental grass that is popular for its dramatic plumes and impressive size. Originally native to South America, pampas grass has become a common sight in landscapes throughout the world, admired for its beauty and versatility.


One of the most striking features of pampas grass is its towering height. Mature plants can grow up to 10 feet tall with plumes that can reach up to 3 feet in length. The leaves are long and narrow, with sharp edges that can cut like a knife, hence the name "Cortaderia," which means "cutting grass" in Spanish. The plumes themselves are feathery and come in shades of white, pink, and even purple. They bloom in late summer and can last well into the fall.

Growing Conditions

Pampas grass is a hardy plant that can thrive in a range of growing conditions. It prefers full sun and well-draining soil but can tolerate drought, salt spray, and even some frost. In fact, pampas grass is considered an invasive species in some areas because it can spread rapidly and outcompete native plants. For this reason, it's important to check with local authorities before planting pampas grass to make sure it won't harm the local ecosystem.


Pampas grass is a popular landscaping plant that can be used in a variety of ways. Its towering height and dramatic plumes make it a great focal point in a garden or as a border plant. It can also be planted in large groups for a more dramatic effect. In addition, pampas grass can be used to create a natural privacy screen or windbreak.

Beyond its landscaping uses, pampas grass has also been used for centuries for practical purposes. Its sharp leaves were used by indigenous people in South America for cutting and slicing, and its plumes were used for bedding, insulation, and even as a material for weaving.

Caring for Pampas Grass

Pampas grass is relatively low-maintenance and easy to care for. It doesn't require much water once it's established and can actually be harmed by overwatering. In addition, pampas grass doesn't need much fertilizer, although a light application of a balanced fertilizer in the spring can help promote growth.

One thing to keep in mind when caring for pampas grass is its sharp leaves. When pruning or cutting back the plant, it's important to wear gloves and protective clothing to avoid getting cut.

Pampas grass is a stunning plant that adds drama and height to any landscape. Its feathery plumes and sharp leaves make it a unique and versatile choice for gardeners and landscapers alike. Whether used as a border plant, privacy screen, or focal point, pampas grass is sure to impress. However, it's important to keep in mind its potential invasiveness and take steps to prevent it from spreading beyond where it's planted.

More Information about Pampas Grass

Pampas grass has also become popular in the world of interior design, where its feathery plumes are used in decorative arrangements, wreaths, and other crafts. In recent years, pampas grass has been especially trendy in bohemian and minimalist décor styles.

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, pampas grass has also been used for its medicinal properties. In traditional South American medicine, pampas grass has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including asthma, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections. While there is limited scientific research on the medicinal benefits of pampas grass, some studies have suggested that it may have anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties.

Pampas grass is a versatile and striking plant that offers beauty and practical uses. While it requires some care and attention to prevent it from becoming invasive, with proper care it can be a valuable addition to any landscape or home décor.

Pampas grass is also popular among florists, who use its plumes in flower arrangements, wedding bouquets, and other floral displays. The feathery texture of the plumes adds a unique and delicate touch to these arrangements, and their size and height make them ideal for adding drama and visual interest.

One thing to keep in mind when using pampas grass in floral arrangements is that the plumes can shed and create a mess. To avoid this, it's recommended to lightly spray the plumes with hairspray or another fixative to help them hold their shape and prevent shedding.

Pampas grass is also an attractive option for wildlife enthusiasts, as it can attract birds and other wildlife to the garden. The tall plumes provide perches for birds to rest on and can also provide shelter for small animals like mice and rabbits.

In some cultures, pampas grass has also been associated with symbolism and spirituality. In Japanese culture, pampas grass is considered a symbol of prosperity and is often used in traditional art and decorations. In Feng Shui, pampas grass is believed to bring good luck and positive energy to a space.

Overall, pampas grass is a beautiful and versatile plant that offers a range of uses and benefits. Whether used in landscaping, interior design, or other applications, its towering height and feathery plumes are sure to make a statement.

Facts about Pampas Grass

Facts about Pampas Grass:

  • Pampas grass is native to South America and was brought to other parts of the world as an ornamental plant.
  • It can grow up to 10 feet tall and produces large feathery plumes that can be up to 3 feet long.
  • The plant gets its name from the sharp edges of its leaves, which can cut like a knife.
  • Pampas grass is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of conditions, including drought, salt spray, and frost.
  • It has become an invasive species in some areas, outcompeting native plants and disrupting the local ecosystem.


Pampas grass is a striking ornamental grass that has become popular in landscaping and interior design. Its towering height and feathery plumes make it a dramatic and versatile plant. While it requires some care and attention to prevent it from becoming invasive, with proper care it can be a valuable addition to any landscape or home décor. Pampas grass also offers practical uses, having been used for centuries for cutting and weaving, as well as medicinal purposes. Overall, pampas grass is a beautiful and fascinating plant that offers a range of benefits and uses.


Pampas Grass filmed in Rivington, Lancashire on the 21st August 2023.


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