Cortaderia selloana (Schult.) Asch. & Graebn. - Pampas Grass

Cortaderia selloana plant

Family - Poaceae

Stems:

N/A

Leaves:

Cortaderia selloana leaf bladeSection of leaf blade. Note the many sharp teeth.

Inflorescence:

Cortaderia selloana inflorescence

Flowers:

Cortaderia selloana flowersClose-up of the pistillate flowers.

Flowering - July - November.

Habitat - Cultivated and persistent around old homesites and along roadsides.

Origin - Native to tropical America (Argentina).

Other information - This striking and common species is cultivated mainly in the southern 2/3 of Alabama where it is hardy against cold weather. The plants in our area are pistillate and produce the characteristic large plumes of pistillate flowers in the summer and fall.
The genus name Cortaderia is a Spanish-American name meaning "cutter" referring to the very sharp and dangerous margins of the leaf blades.
The species epithet selloana is given in honor of German botanist Friedrich Sellow (1789-1831). Sellow was a prominent botanist of his day and traveled much in South America. He even has a fossil tortoise named for him - Testudinites sellowi from Uruguay.

Alabama Distribution:

Cortaderia selloana map

Photographs taken off Lee Rd 54, Lee County, AL., 9-23-04.


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