Weed of the Month April 2023: Pampas Grass

three images of the weed pamaps grass. Image one shows an single bush with white flower. Image 2 had a mix of white and pink flower bunched together. Image three has white pampas grass spreading out in a row inthe bush

Once popular with florists and as a feature plant in gardens, Pampas grass is now recognised as highly invasive and must be eradicated.

The ornamental flower heads cannot be sold by florists unless accompanied by a tag certifying that the seeds have been sterilised in an approved facility.

Pampas grass (Cortaderia species) is a large clumping grass with long narrow leaves with serrated edges. Flower spikes emerge from the clump in summer and autumn and can reach up to 6m tall in mature plants. Multiple flower heads can emerge, which are white, pink or mauve and up to 80cm long. The large fluffy flowerheads are visible from a long distance and contain thousands of seeds which are dispersed by the wind. It invades disturbed areas, plantations, mangroves and waterways.

Pampas grass clumps can form large infestations which prevent the germination of native species, create a fire hazard, harbour vermin and reduce access for people and animals.

There are very few infestations of this weed in the Hastings area, and you can help us to eradicate pampas grass by reporting infestations to Council’s Biosecurity Officer, and learning more about this weed on  NSW WeedWise.

Weed classification

Weed management activity is classified using the terms described in the invasive species curve pictured.  Prevention is the most cost and time efficient action we can take, followed by Eradication (possible when invasion numbers are low) then Containment & finally Asset Protection (Long-term management).  

Pampas Grass is currently classified for eradication.  Read more about weed classification and management in our BlogEd article: A new tool for bushland management prioritisation

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