Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Cortaderia selloana
(Schult. & Schult.f) Aschers. & Graebner, Poaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Reject, score: 24 (Go to the risk assessment (Australia))
High risk, score: 24 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))

Other Latin names:  Arundo selloana Schult. & Schult. f.; Cortaderia argentea (Nees) Stapf

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: pu wei

English: pampas grass, silver pampas grass, Uruguayan pampas grass

French: herbe de la Pampa

Habit:  grass

Description:  "Robust, tussock grass up to 3.5 m in diameter; flowering stalks up to 4 m high.  Leaves:  Grayish- or bluish-green, up to 1800 mm long x 10 mm wide, reflexed, tips narrowly tapering, bristle-like, blade often v-shaped in cross section, margins rough, somewhat cutting; leaves mostly basal to two-thirds of the height of the flowing stalks. Inflorescence:  Silvery-white to pink or mauve, stiffly branching, feathery, 400-700 mm long.  Fruits:  Seeds, falling from old inflorescence which then appears white"  (Henderson, 1995; p. 12).

"Grande herbacée pérenne en touffe épaisse (« tussock-forming grass » en anglais) atteignant 3,5 m de diamètre, reconnaissable par ses longues feuilles et ses inflorescences dressées « en plumeau » de couleur blanche à rose sur des tiges de 3 à 4 m de hauteur" (Meyer, 2008; p. 23).

Habitat/ecology:  "Subhumid and semi-arid subtropical regions in open sunny places receiving added moisture, becoming naturalized as a weed in damp places, depressions, along stream banks, the margins of mangrove swamps and, in particular, disturbed areas associated with roads, pipeline cuts and walking trails in forest areas and waste places."  (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; pp. 100-102)  It produces large amounts of flammable material, increasing fire risk.

In New Caledonia, "parfois planté dans les jardins" (MacKee, 1994; p. 58). In Australia, "it has naturalised in several vegetation communities including dry coastal plains, heathlands, riparian areas, wetlands, tuart forests, eculyptus forests and less frequently in grasslands (Swarbrick & Skarratt, 1994, cited in Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 152).

"Elles colonisent les zones humides (bords de rivière, de marécages et de mangroves), les dunes et les falaises maritimes, et les zones perturbées (bords de route, sentiers, zones abondonnées)" (Meyer, 2008; p. 23).

Propagation:  Seed, wind-dispersed (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 152). "Leurs graines peuvent être dispersées par le vent à plus de 25 km de distance" (Meyer, 2008; p. 23).

Native range:  Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay; cultivated and naturalized elsewhere (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island (Isla de Pasqua) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2008) (pp. 22, 28)
"Lors de cette mission, nous l’avons observé très abondante sur la falaise maritime de Tongariki où elle aurait été introduite pour lutter contre l’érosion du sol (Ignacio Espina, CONAF, comm. pers. 2008), très marquée dans ce site. Environ un millier de touffes (fertiles ou juvéniles) a été dénombré sur une surface d’environ 1 à 2 hectares contre « près d’une centaine » selon J.-F. Butaud (2005). Certaines touffes, accessibles sur pentes douces, sont broutées par les animaux herbivores. D’autres sont accrochées en bordures de falaise et quasiment inaccessibles (face au Motu Marotiri), ce qui exclue une éradication de cette espèce à Rapa Nui. Nous avons vu d’autres touffes dans le village de Hanga Roa et au cratère Rano Raraku où elle avait déjà été signalée par Lefeuver et al. (2005)" (Meyer, 2008; p. 23).
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (pp. 479, 525, 552)
Voucher cited: Danton I(5/186)1535. "En RC, se encuentra en varios sitios del pueblo de San Juan Bautista, en los jardines como fuera de ellos".
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rapa Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands introduced
cultivated
Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral/Imada, Clyde T. (2000) (p. 27)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim (year unknown)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2010) (p. 15)
Voucher cited: D. Clark 01 (BISH)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 58)
Voucher cited: MacKee 34892
New Zealand (offshore islands)
Kermadec Islands
Raoul Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Sykes, W. R./West, C. J. (1996) (p. 452)
Eradicated
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia
Naturalised
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
Naturalised
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 152)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Cultivated. Jiangsu.
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 192)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Owen, S. J. (1997)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Edgar, E./Connor, H. (2000) (p. 497)
"Widespread on roadsides, waste places, scrubland, and of more recent times in plantation pine forests; sea level to 800 m".
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Cultivated
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Washington) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Cultivé/±envahissant"
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, South Carolina
Naturalized

Comments:  A problem species in Australia and New Zealand. On New Zealand noxious weed list and banned from sale in that country.

See also Cortaderia jubata.

Control:  See also Gosling et al., 2000. and Popay et al., 2003.

Physical: Individual plants may be dug out, but all rhizomes must be removed.  "Dig or grub out seedlings or small plants. Chainsaw small plants and remove sizeable plants by bulldozer. Compost or Leave on site to rot down. the foliage. Burn or bury any flowerheads"  (Weedbusters New Zealand).

"En l’absence de moyen de lutte biologique et en raison du relief accidenté (pentes fortes) et de la proximité de la mer, seule la lutte manuelle est envisageable (coupe et arrachage des rhizomes). La perturbation du sol (lutte mécanique par déracinage des touffes) peut favoriser la ré-infestation des sites par germination des graines" (Meyer, 2008; p. 23).

Chemical: Treat with herbicide. Glyphosate may be used (see Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; pp. 100-102). 

"1. Weed wipe (all year round): glyphosate (200ml/L + penetrant).  2. Spray: Gallant (150ml/10l + crop oil) for most sites or glyphosate (100ml/10L + penetrant) for very dense sites . Use a marker dye to avoid wastage and a foaming agent to help prevent spray drift. Leave the plants in the ground until the roots have died off. Follow up as needed, but do not reapply herbicide too soon after the initial treatment - wait until the plant actively begins growing again"  (Weedbusters New Zealand).

"Un traitement chimique par pulvérisation des feuilles avec un herbicide (glyphosate, hexazinone) n’est possible qu’en dehors des zones humides" (Meyer, 2008; p. 23).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 16 MAR 2013.