Impressive size, graceful aspect, durable toughness, and spectacular flowers all combine to make Cortaderia selloana, more commonly known as Pampas Grass one of the most recognised plants in the landscape.
Tall, pink-flushed, feathery plumes in late summer appear above the large mounds of sharp-edged, mid-green leaves. This unusual pink form of pampas grass looks wonderful planted by water or set in the middle of a sunny, well-drained lawn. They generally bloom a week or two earlier than the white variety.
The real show starts in midsummer when the flowers, spectacular 30cm (12in) tall plumes, suddenly erupt above the foliage. The leaves are narrow and arranged in dense fountain like clumps. The show continues well into winter as the feathery plumes persist and the foliage turns golden brown when touched by frost and cold weather.
Cortaderia selloana requires little maintenance, the plumes may be removed after the winter months just before the spring growth starts. Fast growing, it makes a great screen for hiding unsightly views. Planted in a hedge, it makes a formidable barrier. It looks great used with palms, pines and other grasses.
Female plants as they have wider, fuller flowers - the males' are thinner and more elongated. This garden beauty commands attention wherever it is used.
Sowing: Sow in Spring, February to April
Cortaderia germinates easily from seed sown in spring. Sow in well drained soil and keep at around 22°C (71°F). Germinates in about two wks
Once seedlings are large enough to handle, take a small clump of seedlings and put them all in a one-litre pot of gritty compost. They will form a bushy plant and be ready to go into the garden in summer. Grow in sun and in well drained soil. Sow 6mm (¼in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart in well cultivated soil which has been raked to a fine tilth.Thin out the seedlings to 23cm (9in) apart. Replant the seedlings that have been removed
Pampas grass grows well on a range of soil types but thrives in a fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. After time the tussocks can become very large and congested with old, dead foliage. Cutting back and combing regularly in late winter or spring should minimise the dead foliage and keep the tussock compact. Because of its sharp leaf margins pampas grass was commonly burnt in its native habitat to control its spread, but in the garden burning can be dangerous not only for the gardener but because pampas grass is a favourite place for hedgehogs to hibernate.
Fertilising ornamental grasses can result in over-lush growth and unmanageability. Don't be disappointed if your young plant does not have plumes for the first two or three years. When established plants do not form plumes, it is usually because they have been over watered or fed too heavily, which would tend to stimulate foliage growth instead of plumes.
Pampas Grass can be dried and make interesting focal or secondary flowers in dried arrangements. To dry, cut the flower at the height of bloom and hang upside down in a cool, dark place to dry.
Architectural, Cottage/Informal Garden, Drought Resistant, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds, Low Maintenance or Mediterranean.
The species is native to southern South America and its common name Pampas is named after the Pampas region in South America from where this plant is native.
The name Cortaderia is derived from the Argentine name, Cortadera meaning cutting.
The species selloana is named after Friedrich Sello, the early 19th century German explorer who collected specimens in South America. It has been a popular ornamental grass since the Victorian era.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 50mg Average Seed Count 200 Seeds Common Name Pink Pampas Grass Family Poaceae Genus Cortaderia Species selloana Cultivar Pink Synonym Austroderia splendens Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Pale pink plumes up to 2.5m (8ft) Foliage Strap like, 2cm (3/4in) wide, to 1m (3ft) long. Height 1m (36in) Spread 1m (36in) Position Full Sun to light shade Soil Prefers fertile well-drained loamy soils