Herb: Pampas Grass

Latin name: Cortaderia selloana

Synonyms: Cortaderia argentea, Gynerium argenteum

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Description of the plant:


3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

August to

Habitat of Pampas Grass:

Moist sandy soils on river banks and mountains in Chile.

Other uses of the herb:

A fibre obtained from the leaves is used for making paper. The leaves are harvested in the autumn, they are cut into usable pieces and soaked for 24 hours in clear water. They are then cooked for 2 hours with lye and then beaten in a blender. The fibre makes a yellow paper.

Propagation of Pampas Grass:

Seed - surface sow March/April in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 weeks at 15C. Keep the soil moist. The seed has a short viability. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in late spring. It can be very difficult to obtain divisions from this plant because they tend to be very large and to be very close to the main clump. We have found it best to use a sharp spade to cut into the main clump and break off the divisions. These are then potted up in light shade in a cold frame and are planted out once they have rooted well and are in active growth.

Cultivation of the herb:

Moist sandy soils on river banks and mountains in Chile.

Medicinal use of Pampas Grass:

None known

Known hazards of Cortaderia selloana:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.