The review of the impacts of alien grasses in other parts of the world suggests that alien grasses will become increasingly prevalent in South Africa.
At present only five grass species, all large conspicuous perennials, are declared weeds in South Africa.
Pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata, C. selloana) is declared as a Category 1 weed in South Africa. Pampas grass in South Africa is banned from sale and propagation. It may not be grown and must be removed.
Each plume of a older plant can produce up to 100 000 seeds. These seeds can be carried 25km by wind and develop without pollination.
The Pampas grass plant has a mass of fibrous roots. The root system of a large plant can occupy over 100 square meter of soil.
Pampas grass is an aggressive colonizer that competes with native vegetation. Once established it tends to exclude most other species and forms impenetrable clumps.
The foliage of pampas grass dries in the winter and pose a serious fire hazard.
Please share your experiences of pampas grass with us.