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Cortaderia selloana

pampas grass

C. selloana is a densely tufted, clump-forming, perennial grass, 2.5-3m high and 1.8m or more wide, with evergreen, arching, sharply toothed, blue-green leaves, to 2.5m or more long, and erect stems with pyramidal to oblong plume-like panicles, 45-90cm long, of glistening silver-white spikelets about 15mm long and often flushed with pink or purple, in late summer and early autumn

Other common names
pampas grass 'Argentea'
Synonyms
Cortaderia selloana 'Argentea'
Cortaderia selloana 'Alba'
see moreCortaderia argentea
Gynerium argenteum
Arundo selloana
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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Blue
Summer Green Blue Cream Grey Silver Pink Purple White Green Blue
Autumn Green Blue Cream Grey Silver Pink Purple White Green Blue
Winter Green Blue
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or North–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Poaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Tufted
Genus

Cortaderia are robust evergreen grasses forming large, compact tufts of narrowly linear, rough-edged leaves, with erect stems bearing dense silvery or pink-tinged flower panicles which are excellent for drying

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Temp. S America

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, deep, well-drained soil in full sun, and cover with a deep dry mulch to protect plants from frost in their first winter; choose planting positions carefully, because they need plenty of space, because of the sharp leaf edges, and because seedlings can be invasive; for more advice, see ornamental grasses cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sown at 13-18°C in spring, or by division in late spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Gravel garden
  • Prairie planting
  • Architectural
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Cut and comb out the last year's flower stems and dead leaves in late winter or early spring; wear gloves as protection from the sharp leaf edges

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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