From The Plant Encyclopedia
Pampas Grass, Pampas, Pampas Reed, Garden Pampas
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|Pampas Grass - Cortaderia selloana in cultivation|
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- Cultivation: Low-Maintenance, Easy-To-Grow
- Light: Sun
- Soil: Mid-Fertility, Poor, Loam, Clay, Sand
- pH: 5, 6, 7, 8
- Moisture: Medium, Well-Drained
- Form: Herbaceous
- Habit: Evergreen, Perennial
- Flower: Large, Silver, Brown
- Fruit/Seed: Small
- Foliage: Leaves, Needles, Green
- Uses: Ornamental
Cultivation and uses
Cortaderia selloana was introduced to Europe, North America and Australia as an Ornamental grass, and, to a lesser extent, to provide food for grazing animals. The feathery flower head plumes, when dried, are widely used in Flower arrangements and other ornamental displays.
There are several Cultivars available, including:
'Albolineata' — a small cultivar which grows to only 2 m (6.6 ft) in height. The leaves are variegated, with yellow edges.
'Sunningdale Silver' — grows to a height of 4 m (13.1 ft) and has particularly dense flowering plumes. This variety has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.
Pampas Grass is highly adaptable and can grow in a wide range of environments and climates. It also seeds prolifically, with each plant able to produce over 1 million seeds during its lifetime. As such, in some areas (for example California, Hawaii or Green Spain) it is regarded as an invasive weed, whilst in New Zealand and South Africa the plant is banned from sale and propagation for the same reasons. Removal of Pampas Grass by burning will not always prevent return. Chemical weed killer will kill the grass at the roots.
Pampas grass is often used by swingers to advertise their presence to other swingers in the area. In the US and UK a patch of Pampas grass is generally planted somewhere in the front yard to signal to passersby that swingers live in the home.