BugwoodWiki Article

purple pampasgrass
Cortaderia jubata (Lem.) Stapf


Cortaderia jubata is a large, tufted, perennial grass native to South America.
Leaves are basal, ascending to spreading, bright green, sharply serrated and can reach to 5 ft. (1.5 m) in height.
Flowering occurs in late summer to early fall, when 1-3.3 ft. (0.3-1 m) long, purple-tinged plumes develop over the tufts of leaves.
All plants are female and develop seed through apomixes (without fertilization). Each plume can produce up to 100,000 seeds.
Ecological Threat
Cortaderia jubata invades roadsides, dunes, bluffs and other disturbed areas. Plants also invade coastal shrub and grasslands.

General Description:

Cortaderia jubata is a large tussock grass with most of its leaves near the base and narrow, attenuate blades. The panicles are large, terminal, and plume like. Spikelets are several flowered, with internodes of the rachilla jointed, the lower part glabrous (smooth), the upper part bearded. Glumes extend beyond the lower florets. Plants are dioecious (staminate and pistillate flowers on different plants), with male spikelets covered with long hairs.

Distinctive features of C. jubata are huge nodding pinkish or purplish flower plumes (later turning creamy white), and dark green 1-cm-wide drooping leaves with razor like margins. Flower stems rise up to 3 times higher than the clump of foliage. This contrasts with another commonly planted pampas grass, C. selloana, which has narrower, blue green leaves and glistening white plumes when mature. The most important feature of C. jubata as a weed is that it produces abundant seeds annually and establishes rapidly on bare soil, while C. selloana sets relatively few seeds and rarely becomes naturalized.

Cortaderia jubata and 23 other species in the genus are described in Conner and Edgar (1974).


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EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Invasives List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Cortaderia

Other System Links

Plants: COJU2
GRIN: 403448
ITIS: 501640

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
Andean pampas grass, jubatagrass, purple pampasgrass, selloa pampasgrass

Related Scientific Names:

Cortaderia atacamensis (Lem.) Stapf(Synonym)


Category: Grass or Grasslike