Pampas Grass Varieties

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Pampas Grass Varieties
Pampas grass is grown for its luxuriant plumes. (Pampas grass image by Grits72 from Fotolia.com)

Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is a tall, perennial grass and a native of Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Pampas grass can grow up to 10 feet in height with a spread of 6 feet. During late summer the silvery white plumes of the grass rise above the foliage. The colour of the plumes varies between different cultivars. The dwarf varieties of pampas grass have a shorter growth habit. Pampas grass grows best in full sun. Established plants are drought-tolerant and low-maintenance, with few disease- and insect-related problems. Pampas grass is hardy to salt spray and hence makes an ideal plant for coastal gardens.

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Dwarf Pampas Grass

Dwarf pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana "Pumila") is a smaller version of the original pampas grass and is also more cold-hardy. Dwarf pampas grass grows to a mature height of about 6 feet and bears large, white, fluffy plums on sturdy stems. Dwarf pampas grass grows best in full sun and well-drained, moderately fertile soil. Dwarf pampas grass is hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 10 and is commonly used as a specimen planting along walls and fences. Leave the grass standing during fall and winter, and prune severely during mid-spring.

Silver Comet Pampas Grass

Silver comet pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana "Silver Comet") is smaller, finer-textured pampas grass with an average height of about 4 to 6 feet. The foliage has longitudinal, white variegation along the edges, and the flower plumes grow at the same height as the foliage. The plumes are often removed to enhance the look of the silvery-looking foliage. Silver comet pampas grass grows best in full sun and has a low water requirement. The plant is drought-tolerant and hardy to temperatures of -9.44 to -6.66 degrees C. Silver comet pampas grass is considered one of the most attractive varieties of pampas grass.

Pink Feather Pampas Grass

Pink feather pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana "Pink Feather") is a tall pampas grass with large, silky, soft pink plumes rising above the foliage. The green leaf blades are heavily scented, and the bloom stalks can grow to a mature height of 8 to 12 feet. The edges of pampas grass leaves are very sharp, so the plant should not be placed in areas of regular traffic. The plumes of pink feather pampas grass are used extensively in flower arrangements and are also attractive if left on the plant. The colour of the plumes changes to rich gold in fall and winter. Pink feather pampas grass is a slow-growing plant, reaching a 7-foot height in about three years. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil.

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