Cortaderia selloana

Cortaderia selloana Pampasgrass
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: pampasgrass; white pampasgrass

Cortaderia selloana (pampasgrass) is a large perennial grass (family Poaceae) found along the coast of California, and in the Coast Ranges, Central Valley, Western Transverse Ranges, and Mojave Desert. Pampasgrass favors dunes, bluffs, coastal shrublands and marshes, inland riparian areas, and disturbed areas. It was introduced as an ornamental plant and for erosion control. Each plume produces up to 100,000 seeds that are widely dispersed by wind and develop without fertilization. Pampasgrass quickly colonizes bare ground, but establishment is generally poor where the seedlings must compete with other grasses or sedges.

Cal-IPC Rating: High

Cal-IPC Assessment

Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Special Reports

Pampasgrass and jubatagrass brochure - from UC Davis, Weed Research & Information Center

Weed RIC Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

  • Kroon, J. L. and G. L. Vourlitis (2007). Physiological and morphological responses of pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) to variations in water table and soil nitrogen content. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2007. San Diego, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Burkhart, B. and M. Kelly (2007). How to develop user-friendly riparian corridor invasive exotic species/habitat restoration master plans: Experiences on the San Diego and Otay Rivers. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2007. San Diego, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Marchant, T., R. Hobbs, et al. (2006). Restoration of desert wetlands dominated by tamarisk and pampas grass. Cal-IPC Symposium. Rohnert Park, CA.
  • Okada, M., M. Lyle, et al. (2006). Molecular evidence supporting the horticultural origin of invasive jubata grass (Cortaderia jubata). Cal-IPC Symposium. Rohnert Park, CA.
  • Okada, M., R. Ahmad, et al. (2005). Identification of cultivated pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) escaping ornamental plantings. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
  • Powers, J. (2005). Large scale pampas grass control program. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
  • Connick, S. and M. Gerel (2004). Partnering to prevent invasions of plants of horticultural origin. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Knapp, J. (2004). A gardener's dream, a land manager's nightmare: The spread of horticultural invasive plants into the wildlands of Santa Catalina Island. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Lambrinos, J. G. (2004). A tale of two invaders: The dynamic history of pampas grass and jubata grass in California. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Okada, M., R. Ahmad, et al. (2004). Identifying origins and tracing spread of pampasgrass and jubatagrass in California by microsatellite markers. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Martus, C., C. Schneider, et al. (2003). Volunteer efforts to educate and influence corporate America and local governments to stop selling and using pampasgrass (Cortaderia selloana) and other invasive non-native plants. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2003. Kings Beach, CA.
  • Lambrinos, J. G. (2002). The creeping loss of California's once widespread shrublands to pampasgrass and other aliens. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2002. Sacramento, CA.
  • Kelly, M. (2001). 10 years of CalEPPC. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2001. San Diego, CA.
  • Chirman, D. (2000). Pampasgrass control in Goleta Slough, California. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2000. Concord, CA.
  • Tschohl, A. (2000). Jubatagrass vs pampasgrass: A growth analysis and comparison of invasive potential. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2000. Concord, CA.
  • Pitcairn, M. J. and D. M. Woods (1998). Control methods: Biological control. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '98. Ontario, CA.
  • Thomsen, C. D., W. A. Williams, et al. (1996). Yellow starthistle management with grazing, mowing, and competitive plantings. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '96. San Diego, CA.

Other Cortaderia selloana Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - See the distribution of this species on Calflora's map of California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.