Pink Pampas Grass

Cortaderia jubata

Pink Pampas Grass

Image credit: Forest and Kim Starr

Pink Pampas Grass is an invasive weed of watercourses, pine plantations and native vegetation.

It is declared under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (NRM Act).

Description

  • grows to become a large mounded tussock, 1.5 to 2 m high
  • tussocks have a large root system that can extend up to 3.5 m deep when mature
  • the green, arching leaf blades are up to 2 m long
  • leaves are 2 to 3 cm wide and have sharp serrated edges
  • several flowering stalks, 2 to 4 m tall with plumes 30 to 90 cm long emerge from the tussocks between January and March
  • plumes are initially pink but fade to dull grey with age
  • viable seed are produced asexually in the flowers when they emerge
  • each plume can produce up to 100,000 windborne seeds
  • seeds germinate in spring, with seedlings developing rapidly, producing several tillers and rhizomes.

Impacts

  • an invasive weed of native vegetation
  • highly competitive and can invade intact bushland
  • however, it is more likely to infest disturbed sites including burnt out bushland, roadsides and quarries
    large, long-lived tussocks displace native plants and compete for water
  • tussocks are hardy and very drought tolerant
  • creates a fire hazard through the large build-up of dead, flammable foliage within the plant clumps
  • tussocks tolerate being burnt and can resprout after fire
  • infestations can impede access in forestry operations
  • tussocks provide shelter for foxes, rabbits and other vermin
  • sharply serrated leaves can cause cuts to skin leaving irritating welts
  • produces large volumes of pollen which can cause hay fever and exacerbate asthma conditions.

Distribution

  • native to South America
  • introduced to Australia as an ornamental plant in confusion with Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)
  • has become established in the Australian Capital Territory, central coast of New South Wales, Tasmania and southern Victoria
  • the Mount Lofty Ranges provide ideal habitat and are considered highly vulnerable to invasion
  • has colonised wasteland and watercourses at sites in the central hills of the Mount Lofty Ranges
  • significant infestations are present at Horsenell Gully, Eagle Quarry, Stonyfell Quarry and Montacute
  • prefers open, sunny conditions, but also tolerates waterlogging
  • grows well in nutrient poor soils.

How to control this weed

  • effective control programs will involve chemical and physical measures
  • a range of herbicides are effective and can be used in combination with fire and physical removal of tussocks
  • for advice on chemical control techniques contact your nearest Natural Resources Centre
  • refer to the 'Weed control handbook for declared plants in South Australia' for advice on chemical control. You can find it on the Biosecurity SA website.

Declarations

The following sections of the NRM Act apply to Pink Pampas Grass in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region:

  • 175 (1) Cannot import the plant into South Australia 
  • 175 (2) Cannot transport the plant, or any material or equipment containing that plant, on a public road 
  • 177 (1) Cannot sell the plant
  • 177 (2) Cannot sell any produce / goods carrying the plant
  • 180 (1)(2)(3) Infestations must be reported to the NRM board
  • 182 (2) Landowner must control the plant on their land
  • 185 (1) NRM authority may recover costs for control of weeds on roadsides from adjoining landowners

More information

For more detailed information download the fact sheet.

Please contact us for advice and assistance with controlling Pink Pampas Grass.

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges