Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is a perennial grass that adds a bold accent to gardens with its fluffy white plumes and spiky foliage. This grass, which originated in South America, comes in a wide variety of cultivars, with variegated foliage, different-colored plumes and dwarf species. Most gardeners prefer to plant the female pampas plant because its flowers are much showier than the male plants. Pampas grass is drought tolerant and is avoided by deer.
Common Pampas Grass
Common pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) has large clumps that reach 8 to 10 feet wide, with white feathery plumes in summer and autumn. It grows quickly and quite large, and is an excellent choice for a barrier or windbreak. It grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 5b to 11.
Pink Pampas Grass
Pink pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana Rosea) has extremely sharp-edged leaf blades. The pink plumes appear in mid-summer. This variety grows 8 feet wide and 6 feet tall in USDA zones 7 to 10.
Dwarf Pampas Grass
Dwarf pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana Pumila) is a smaller and more cold-hardy version of common pampas grass. It grows 3 feet wide and 6 feet tall in USDA zones 6 to 10. Its large white flower heads are on shorter, sturdy stems. Pumila is sterile, meaning it will not reseed.
Silver Pampas Grass
Silver pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana, Andes Silver) grows to 5 to 7 feet tall in USDA zones 6 to 10. Its silvery white plumes appear in the fall, and they make excellent cut flowers.
Gold Band Pampas Grass
Gold band pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana, Gold Band) has variegated green leaves with yellow along the margins. Its creamy white flowers bloom summer to fall. Gold Band grows 4 to 6 feet tall and wide in USDA zones 8 to 10.
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