Cortaderia selloana (Schult. & Schult.f.) Asch. & Graebn.

Pampas Grass

Syn. Mittleur. Fl. 2: 325 (1900) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Plants female or bisexual. Culms to 4 m high, normally less than twice the height of basal leaves, nodes glabrous, mostly concealed by leaf-sheaths; leaves dull bluish- or grey-green, glabrous; sheath usually glabrous; blade turned from shortly above the sheath (so that the scabrous lower surface is uppermost), flat, narrowly tapered toward the tips, coarsely scabrous on margins and nerves on lower surface, midrib prominently thickened, to 1.8 m long and 2 cm wide; ligule a dense row of fine, silky hairs to 4 mm long. Inflorescence a dense, plume-like panicle 25–100 cm long, white, yellowish or purplish. Spikelets 10–17 mm long, veins of glume and rachilla segments unpigmented, spikelets 5–7-flowered; glumes hyaline, narrow-acuminate, 10–15 mm long, subequal; florets narrow-acuminate, about equal to glumes or slightly shorter; lemma narrowly tapered with fine, awn-like apices, 7–13 mm long overall, hyaline, smooth, glabrous or with a few long hairs in bisexual flowers, plumose in female flowers; palea 3–5 mm long, hyaline, glabrous. Flowers Mar.–May.

*CVU, *DunT, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HSF, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *Strz, *VVP, *WaP. Also naturalised in WA, SA, NSW, Tas., New Zealand, southern Africa. Native to South America. Mostly spreading along seasonal drainage lines and roadside ditches from garden escapes or refuse (e.g. Whipstick Forest near Bendigo, Bellarine Peninsula, Greater Melbourne). Plants grown in Victoria for ornament are mostly female only and not able to produce viable seed. However, a strain of the species with normal hermaphrodite flowers has become established, particularly in the Bendigo district, and these have given rise to numerous plants forming extensive swards that are difficult to eradicate.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Cortaderia
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Cortaderia selloana in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Cortaderia selloana in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory