(Cortaderia jubata, Cortaderia selloana)
Considered very invasive and is on the Hawaii State Noxious Weed List.
The Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources has designated this species as one of Hawaii’s Most Invasive Horticultural Plants.
- Large clumping grass that may reach 2 meters (6 ft) or taller
- Leaves are narrow and have sharp, serrated edges
- Showy white-to-purple flower plumes are sometimes used in floral arrangements
- Native to South America, introduced to Hawaii as ornamental plant
- Seeds are spread long distances by wind. In native forests they outcompete native plants and create a fire hazard.
- Cortaderia jubata plants are able to produce viable seeds without cross-pollination
- C. selloana, requires cross-pollination between male and female plants to produce viable seeds, spread primarily by wind. The invasive nature of C. selloana was not recognized in Hawaii in past years because only female plants were cultivated and sold. Male plants are now available.
- Serious pests in California and New Zealand
The two known populations in Lihue and Kokee have been eradicated. KISC is working to educate the general public about the invasiveness of these plants. Please report any sightings of these plants.
- Saccharum officinarum, commonly known as Sugarcane, can be mistaken for Pampas Grass. They both share a similar looking pink toned plume, however sugarcane’s plume is much smaller than Pampass Grass. Sugarcane does not clump like Pampas Grass.
- Cenchrus advena, or Purple Fountain Grass is has a similar growth form to Pampas Grass, as it clumps and produces a feathery plume, however Fountain grass is much small in size and plume.