Common names: Pampas Grass/ Jubata Grass
Description: Perennial, 6 to 13 feet tall. Pampas Grass and Jubata Grass area easily confused, and are only distinguished by slight differences in their stem heights, leaf color, plume colors, leaf tip shapes, and presence of viable seeds.
Flowers: Plume color of Pampas grass is light violet to silvery-white Female plants have lighter plumes than males. In Jubata Grass plumes are pink to deep violet in color.
Leaves: In Pampas Grass, leaves are glaucous green. The leaf tips are bristly and curled. Stem in female plants is usual equal to the tussock, while in males it is twice as long. In Jubata they are bright to deep green. The leaf tips are not bristly of curled. Stem height is 2 to 2.5 times longer than the tussock.
Reproduction: In Pampas Grass, viable seeds are present only when male and female plants are present. In Jubata Grass, viable seeds are always present.
Flowering: Late August through September.
Habitat and Ecology: Introduced from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Pampas grass creates a fire hazard with excessive build-up of dry leaves, leaf bases, and flowering stalks, although the more aggressive is Cortaderia jubata (which is commonly mistaken as Pampas.)
This plant has mainly been propegated in the United States in the nursery industry as an ornamental. Some nurseries have propegated this plant from seed, therefore producing more viable seed and causing the species to escape across the California hillsides.