Pampas Grass

Pampas grass is a large perennial bush that originates from South America . There are two varieties of pampas grass:-

  • Cortaderia selloana, and
  • Cortaderia jubata

The former type, that is, the cortaderia sellonana is the ‘true’ pampas grass. In many areas pampas grass is synonymous with weeds being a problem itself. However, where controlled and used for decorative purposes pampas grass can be highly effective and visually stunning. It is frequently used in decorative hedging and for effect as a feature. However, having said all this caution must be given for pampas grass has a tendency to flourish and can quickly over-take an area.

Thus it must be carefully monitored so that it does not transform from a centre-piece to eye-saw. They are hardy plants in that they are able to tolerate locations near to the sea with no worries about salinity. Once established these plants are extremely low maintenance and if anything, once planted are virtually impossible to remove!!! There are virtually no worries relating to insect infestation removing the need to use pesticides. They have a preference for warmer temperatures getting the characteristic brown-coloured burn typical of plants sensitive to the cold.

The cortaderia jubata, is often known by the name Andean Pampas or Jubata grass and is quite a large eye-catching plant which reproduces through spread of its thousands of seeds produced each year. What is so remarkable about this is that it produces seed without the need to pollinate like most other plants. Pampas is very photo-sensitive and requires the availability of constant sunlight, the exclusion of this by other plants will prevent the establishment of pampas grass in that area.

The bushes of pampas grass can grow anywhere between 7 to 12ft in height. They are quite distinctive, displaying brilliant creamy feather-like plumes. It is these that disperse the seeds for future pampas grasses.

In order to remove pampas grass it is best to do so before flowering occurs or if seeding then to cover the plumes with bags so that the seeds are not disturbed by the process and inadvertently spread. It is easier to remove younger less established plants for older plants are quite difficult and patience is essential.

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