Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Pampas Grass - Cortaderia selloana   (J.A. & J.H. Schultes) Ascherson & Graebner
Members of Poaceae:
Only member of Cortaderia in NC.
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Section 5 » Family Poaceae
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Author(J.A. & J.H. Schultes) Ascherson & Graebner
DistributionMostly the Outer Banks and other barrier islands. Rare inland in Harnett and Jackson counties. Widely planted and expected to escape locally.

Native to southern South America; in N.A. mostly in the Southwest and CA; scattered records in the southern Atlantic states.
AbundanceUncommon on the Outer Banks and barrier islands; rare elsewhere but could show up almost anywhere.
HabitatDry to mesic sandy soil of roadsides, trailsides, interdune swales, stable dunes; abandoned portions of golf course (Harnett Co.), hedgerow on campus (Jackson Co.).
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationThis species is readily identified by its dense, creamy white plume held erect above a large tussock of abundant, slender leaves, often gracefully arching away from the stem. The tussock is 2-4 feet tall and wide, and the plume can be 1 foot tall, strongly contrasting with the green color of the foliage.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFAC link
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B.A. SorrieRoadside vicinity of Lillington, late Oct 2015. HarnettPhoto_non_natural
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