Understanding the Types and Varieties of Pampas Grass: Complete Guide

White pampas grass
White pampas grass

Floral arrangers and gardeners both praise pampas grass for its feathery and striking blooms. It’s named after its original home located in Pampas, Argentina, and is known for being tall ornamental grass. This was first introduced to Europe in the mid-1700s. However, various types of pampas grass are available today. These variations can be used to enhance the overall appearance of your garden or act as a privacy barrier to block the view from your neighbors.

About Pampas Grass

Pampas grass is also known as Cortaderia, tussock grass, plums, and paina. However, the scientific name is known as Cortaderia and is part of the Poaceae family. Its origins are from Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina in South America. The height of this pampas grass is generally between four and 10 feet. However, this is dependent on the variety of this pampas grass.

The Types of Pampas Grass

There are various types of pampas grass that you can get. Although most of these pampas grass plants fall into the selloana species, various other species also include pampas grass’s common name. Here are some of the most common types of pampas grass that you are able to use for your garden, as well as other ‘imposter’ plant types.

#1 ‘Gold Band’ / ‘Pampas Grass’ Cortaderia selloana ‘Aureolineata’

This Gold Band variety from the Pampas Grass family is known as a slow-growing and compact evergreen plant. It’s equipped to grow to more than 6 feet, and its name comes from its slender leaves that have narrow stripes, which are yellow in color.

The flowers coming from these females plants can range from being golden tan to white in color. It is also known to be tolerant to cold and hot temperatures and is said to be more erect and compact than the ‘Monvin’ variety. The features making up this variety make it suitable for being planted in containers. US Growing Zone: 8-10.

#2 ‘Silver Stripe’ Cortaderia selloana ‘Aureolineata’

This silver stripe is a white pampas grass that is very similar to the Gold Band variety. However, the one significant difference is that it features white strips that can be found in its leaves and are topped with a feathery panicle of blooming flowers that are white in color and offer a silver sheen. 

#3 ‘Dwarf Pampas Grass’ / ‘Pumila’ Cortaderia selloana 

This Pumila is dwarf pampas grass that grows to a maximum height of no more than 6 feet tall and flowers in a wide range of colors, including anything from ivory to pale yellow. Some suppliers may help in reducing the grass from spreading uncontrollably by offering on-reseeding plants. US Growing Zone: 6-10.

#4 ‘Sunningdale Silver’ Cortaderia selloana

This variety of pampas grass is known for its silvery flowers. In addition to this, this pink pampas grass isn’t affected by rainfall. This is predominant because its panicles aren’t as dense as other varieties and are less prone to clumping.

The stems of this variety can grow to more than 10 feet, which is quite impressive. With that being said, it’s essential to place these plantings several feet apart to reduce invasive spreading. This may help your growing process. US Growing Zone: 6-8.

#5 ‘Pink Pampas Grass’ / ‘Rosea’ Cortaderia selloana

Many inferior seedlings are sold as pink pampas grass. However, the appearance of this grass is far from inadequate. Its rosy pink blooms originate from its tightly-clumped foliage and flourish from midsummer to fall. In addition to these plumes, it also grows to an average of 6 feet tall. US Growing Zone: 7-10.

#6 ‘Silver Fountain’ Cortaderia selloana

This is a white pampas grass that’s equipped with densely-packed leaves that are long and green in color. These leaves are similar to the Silver Stripe. Not to mention, this variety also produces large heads of silvery and silky flowers that grace the tall stems. These flowers commonly bloom in the late summer. US Growing Zone: 6-10.

#7 ‘Splendid Star’ Cortaderia selloana

The Splendid Star is a dwarf variety that has stunning golden-streaked leaves. This is also known as a hardy pampas grass that grows very well in large containers and makes for the right border plant. In addition to this, fluffy white panicles fill the flower stalks. US Growing Zone: 7-10.

#8 ‘Monvin’ / ‘Sun Stripe’ Cortaderia selloana

The Sun Stripe is known as being an excellent border plant and has several stripes along with its leaves. The plumes can also grow up to 7 feet tall and feature tipped silvery-white flower panicles during the fall time. This variety is also commonly used as a windbreak in many gardens. US Growing Zone: 8-10.

#9 ‘Patagonia’ Cortaderia selloana

This Patagonia is an unusual species and produces foliage that’s gray-green in color. This is presented in tight tussocks. The flowers produced by this variety rise to 6 feet and feature silver and feathery white flowers. This is mainly found in the fall. US Growing Zone: 8-10.

#10 ‘White Pampas Grass’ / ‘Silver Comet’ Cortaderia selloana

This white pampas grass variety, also known as Silver Comet, is primarily known for its beautiful leaves rather than the flowers that bloom from this cultivar. These leaves feature white striations located on its edges, making its white flower plumes look dull in comparison.

These flower plumes are commonly removed from the grass pampas to enhance the distinctive look that’s given to the incredible and unusual leaves. Not to mention, this pampas grass (Silver Comet) can grow up to 6 feet tall when placed in the right zone with the optimal weather and soil conditions. US Growing Zone: 7-10.

#11 ‘Purple Pampas Grass’ / ‘Andean Pampas Grass’ Cortaderia jubata

The grass ‘pampas’ doesn’t only come in species of selloana. There are many other varieties that you can get. This includes the Cortaderia jubata, which is referred to as the purple pampas grass or Andean pampas grass. This planting can grow up to 22 feet tall, one of the tallest varieties you can get of pampas grass. This height is undoubtedly impressive.

However, it’s also the purplish and pinkish hues of the flower plumes that make these grass pampas stand out. These flower plumes turn to a white and ivory color when the planting matures, enhancing its overall appearance.

The purple pampas grass cultivars are female plants, which manes that it reproduces by apomixis. This is in contrast to division or seed, which means that this plant’s spreading is exceptionally invasive. This grass, pampas is classified as an invasive weed on the US’s west coast and the Hawaiian Islands. US Growing Zone: 6-10.

#12 ‘Hardy Pampas Grass’ / ‘Erianthus’ Saccharum Ravenna 

This variety is commonly referred to as hardy pampas grass and isn’t genuine pampas grass. However, it is similar, and it forms thick clusters of tall ornamental grass, which is known to grow as tall as 12 feet high.

It boasts flowers that turn white or silver in the winter and purplish-braze in the early summertime. The leaves of this planting generally include a single white stripe that can be found down the center and turn red or bronze in the winter. This is another variety that’s considered to be invasive. US Growing Zone: 6-9.

READ: Enhance Your Landscape with Ravenna Grass

Pampas Grass Colors

The colors of pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) can vary depending on the variety and environmental factors. The most common color of pampas grass is a creamy or off-white hue. This natural color adds a soft and elegant touch to the landscape, especially when the plumes sway gracefully in the breeze.

However, pampas grass is also available in cultivated varieties that offer different color options. Through selective breeding and hybridization, variations in plume color have been introduced. Some cultivated varieties of pampas grass display plumes in shades of pink, ranging from pale blush to vibrant rose. These pink varieties can add a splash of color and a whimsical flair to the landscape.

In addition to white and pink, there are also cultivars with plumes in shades of purple, ranging from delicate lavender to deep violet. These purple-hued pampas grass varieties offer a unique and captivating alternative to the more traditional colors.

The specific color variations available may differ depending on the region and the availability of cultivated varieties. When selecting pampas grass for your landscape, it’s worth exploring local nurseries or consulting with gardening experts to find out which color options are readily available in your area.

Pampas Grass ColorsDescription
Cream/WhiteThe most common and natural color of pampas grass. It adds a soft and elegant touch to landscapes.
PinkCultivated varieties offer plumes in shades of pink, ranging from pale blush to vibrant rose.
PurpleSome cultivated varieties display plumes in shades of purple, ranging from delicate lavender to deep violet.
Mixed ColorsPampas grass cultivars are available with mixed colors, combining cream, pink, and purple tones in a single plant. This option offers a stunning display of multi-colored plumes, creating a dynamic and visually striking focal point in the landscape.

Ultimately, the color of pampas grass can be a matter of personal preference and can be chosen to complement the overall design aesthetic of your landscape. Whether you opt for the classic creamy white, the playful pinks, or the captivating purples, pampas grass can bring visual interest and beauty to your outdoor space.

MORE: How to Grow Blue Bayou Pampas Grass

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Dry Pampas grass?

Pampas grass (cortaderia selloana) is a drought tolerant grass that has a natural air of elegance and beauty. This grass grows well in most soils and can grow up to 7 feet tall. Drying pampas grass is not difficult, but you will want to dry it outside in the shade or under shelter if the weather is hot or humid.

In order to dry pampas grass for crafts projects you will need to cut the stalks as close as possible to the ground. It can also be used as a filler in flower arrangements.

Touch Pampas

The 4 steps to dry pampas grass:

  • Step 1: Gather a handful of pampas grass and cut off the bottom inch of the stems with some scissors.
  • Step 2: Place them on a wire or string hanger to dry out.
  • Step 3: Find an area where it is warm, but not hot, and place your hanger in an open location with good air flow.
  • Step 4: Check on your hangers daily and adjust as needed. After about two weeks of drying, your pampas grass will be ready to use!

How to Grow Pampas grass?

We want to start the section off with a disclaimer. Although pampas grass is a fantastic addition to any garden, it might not be allowed to grow this species in your garden. Areas like New Zealand and Hawaii have banned pampas grass from being produced. In addition to this, pampas grass has also been placed on the invasive species list for Texas and California, as well as Australia and the UK. With that being said, it can typically be grown under more controlled conditions, which is why you should check with your local agricultural extension before you begin the process of planting. 

When looking at the overall appearance of ornamental grass, pampas grass is one of the most intriguing and attractive types. In addition to this, the impression when you successfully grow pampas grass is likely to turn a few heads and might work as the perfect addition to your garden. Not to mention, you’re bound to have a never-ending supply of fall or late summer decor to spice up the look of your home and take the flower arrangement on your dining room table to the next level. 

With that being said, you need to understand all the requirements it takes to ensure you grow pampas grass under conditions that reap the best results. This isn’t seen as much of a challenge as all of the varieties of pampas grass are generally known to be easy to grow and care for. However, we have listed a few essential tips and tricks that we have learned throughout the years to help you grow pampas grass to the best of your ability and receive the most stunning appearance. Here’s all that you need to know when it comes to increasing pampas grass: 

When Should You Plant Pampas grass? 

If you wish to begin growing by seed, you should start this process using flats or cell packs instead of direct sowing. In addition to this, you should also plant your seed in soil that’s well-draining and make an effort to begin this process in mid-winter while indoors. You’re going to want to press the seed into the soil’s surface, but you shouldn’t cover it. This type of seed generally requires light in order to begin the germination process, and it takes between 14 and 28 days for germination to happen when kept at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Pampas grass is known to form with a mixture of androgynous and female plants, which both require a seed that’s capable of germinating. Due to this, the pampas grass seeds that are collected in the wild might not be able to grow. It’s for this reason that you should purchase the pampas grass seeds you wish to plant. 

When it comes to planting pampas grass that has been divided, you’re going to want to transplant these seedlings in the springtime once the last hard frost has taken place. You do have the opportunity to plant these seedlings earlier in USDA zones that are warmer than zone 7, as long as these zones aren’t prone to damagingly cold temperatures. 

Where Should You Plant Pampas grass? 

You have the opportunity to plant pampas grass directly in the ground or in containers. Whatever area you choose, it’s imperative that you plant it a week away from any areas where small children or pets are going to be left unsupervised. This is primarily because pampas grass is known to have relatively sharp edges and can cut skin. In addition to this, pampas grass is also incredibly flammable. Thus, you should plant it away from your outbuildings or home for safety precautions if you live in an area where there’s a risk of wildfires. 

Moreover, you should also look at planting your pampas grass in a suitable area that has loamy and sandy soil if you plan on growing a taller variety and wish to use it as a border or windbreak. Planting these taller varieties 6 feet apart and as deep as it was in the container is going to reap the most benefits. This is because the plant is naturally going to spread to fill in the available area. 

Using large containers to plant dwarf varieties is a suitable option, as it prevents the pampas grass from spreading. This is also a great option if you’re looking to grow pampas grass in colder climates, as these large containers can simply be moved indoors during cold periods. You should also take note that some dwarf varieties are sterile, which means that these plants aren’t going to reproduce through seed. This makes it a non-invasive option for ultimately deciding on what type of pampas grass to plant. When planting this pampas grass in a container, you should make sure it’s well-draining to receive the best results.

Read More: How to Grow Pampas Grass

Pampas Grass in pots

Pampas grass is a plant native to the southern hemisphere of the Earth. This plant is well-known for its feathery plumes and can grow as tall as 10 feet. In its natural habitat, the Pampas grass grows in wetlands. However, it now thrives in pots as well all over the world. These plants are widely used as ornamental plants due to their lush, green foliage and beautiful plumes that resemble a fountain of feathers cascading from a high point.

The Pampas grass need a lot of water and sun to grow because they are native to South America. The best time for Pampas grasses in pots to be put into the ground is when the weather is warmer because they love summer. They can also be taken out of the pot and replanted into your garden when the season changes if you want them to grow outside.


What is pink pampas grass called?

Pink Pampas Grass is simply referred to as “Pink Pampas Grass.” Its botanical name is Cortaderia selloana, and it’s a popular ornamental grass known for its tall plumes and attractive appearance. The term “pink” in the name indicates the color of its distinctive flowering plumes, which can range from soft pink to dusty rose.

What are the different shades of pampas grass?

Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) is a visually striking ornamental grass known for its tall plumes that come in shades of creamy white, pink, silver, and beige/tan. It is commonly found in the Pampas region of South America and has become a popular addition to gardens and landscapes worldwide.

What’s the difference between male and female pampas grass?

The distinction between male and female Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) lies in their plume appearance and reproductive functions. Male plants produce larger, fluffy plumes primarily for ornamental value and do not generate viable seeds. Female plants, on the other hand, have smaller, compact plumes that produce seed heads, potentially leading to self-seeding and spread. Both genders can reach similar heights of 6 to 10 feet.

The Bottom Line

When you grow pampas grass, it should typically be in an area that offers full sun to partial shade. Your watering schedule is also best when kept on a low to moderate basis. The temperature conditions that these variations flourish in are generally between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to this, the female plants are known to be drought-tolerated and function well under high humidity conditions. 

The soil that’s included in the ground you wish to plant the pampas grass variety should be well-draining. This would be the ideal type of soil, but it also tolerates other soil conditions. When looking at different fertilizers for your pampas grass, you should typically look at nothing more substantial than a balanced medium. With that being said, you also have the opportunity not to use any fertilizer. The propagation process can be done by seed or through division, but this is more invasive. 

Rachel Lean
Rachel Lean

Adventurer, loving nature and plants, particularly Pampas Grass. Happy to share with other people the knowledge that I accumulated on the journey of my life.