Pampas Grass (Common & Purple)

Family:
Poaceae
Origin:
South America

General description

Clump-forming grasses <4m tall. Leaves with cutting edges, dark green with hairs on underside of midrib, bluish green above; dead leaves spiral like wood shavings. Showy, erect, pink, purple or white seedheads (Feb-late May).

Coastal & lowland shrub communities, forest margins, sand dunes, cliffs, riverbeds, roadsides, waste places, plantations, railway lines, quarries, most disturbed areas. Tolerates wide range of conditions but not shade.

Large amounts of seeds produced, dispersed by wind, water, contaminated soil, roading material, clothing, vehicles etc.

Competes with & smothers other vegetation. Creates fire risk, harbours pests e.g. rabbits, possums, rats.

Site management

Establish that species is not native toetoe. Control before seeding when possible. Always use most selective method. Plan for increased fire risk after control. Do not burn at any stage. Large infestations can be grazed by cattle as long as toetoe is not present. Pampas recedes as shade increases, so encourage weed replacement (planting, regeneration).

Recommended approaches

1. Grub out small to plants. Remove large plants with digger.
2. Weed wipe all year round (200ml glyphosate + 2ml penetrant/1L).
3. Spray summer-autumn (150ml haloxyfop (selective) + 50ml crop oil/10L).
3. Spray (summer-autumn) dense sites where non-target damage is unlikely (100ml glyphosate (non-selective) + 20ml penetrant/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

coastal toetoe
Cortaderia splendens

Native toetoe species have golden flowerheads (Sept-Jan) which are sparse and drooping, have tougher leaves than pampas, and have distinctive leaf midribs that continue into the leaf sheath. Lack the 'woodshaving' appearance of the dead leaves.

Cortaderia fulvida

Native toetoe species have golden flowerheads (Sept-Jan) which are sparse and drooping, have tougher leaves than pampas, and have distinctive leaf midribs that continue into the leaf sheath. Lack the 'woodshaving' appearance of the dead leaves.

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
Community Initiatives - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
pampas grass (common & purple) - Main species image