Uruguayan pampas grass
Cortaderia selloana (Schult. & Schult. f.) Asch. & Graebn.


Cortaderia selloana is a perennial in the grass family (Poaceae) growing 6-13 ft. (1.8-4 m) in height. Lateral roots can spread to 13 ft. (4 m) in diameter and 11.5 ft. (3.5 m) in depth.
Cortaderia selloana leaf blades can get up to 6 ft. (1.8 m) long and 1-3 in. (2.5-7.6 cm) wide. They are V-shaped in cross-section, and bluish green in color. The upper surface is smooth at base. The lower surface may be smooth or hairy towards collar. Leaf tips are bristly and curled and margins are rough and sharp.
The inflorescence is a showy dense, feathery, 1-4 ft. (0.3-0.9 m), stiff, light violet to silvery white panicle.
The wind-dispersed seeds of Cortaderia selloana can be found at distances up to 20 mi. (32.2 km) away from the parent plant. Each female flower head can produce up to 100,000 seeds.
Ecological Threat
Cortaderia selloana requires sandy soils, ample moisture, and sunny locations. It tolerates warm summer temperatures, intense sunlight, and moderate drought. The vigorous growth habit and large size enables it to invade natural ecosystems. Cortaderia selloana can invade sandy, moist ditch banks. Vegetative reproduction can occur when root fragments develop shoots at the base of the plant. It has the ability to form dense stands where it can quickly become a fire hazard.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

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

State Regulated List

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

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Cortaderia
Subject: Cortaderia selloana (Schult. & Schult. f.) Asch. & Graebn.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
pampas grass, silver pampas grass, Uruguayan pampasgrass


Plants - Grass or Grasslike