Cortaderia Jubata - Andean Pampas Grass | Center Moriches, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

Artist's Description

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Cortaderia
Species: C. jubata
Binomial name
Cortaderia jubata

Cortaderia jubata is a species of grass known by several common names, including Purple pampas grass and Andean pampas grass. It is similar to its more widespread relative, the Pampas Grass C. selloana, but it can get quite a bit taller, approaching seven meters in height at maximum.

This grass is native to the northern Andes but it is well-known elsewhere as an invasive species noxious weed. This grass has only pistillate parts, that is, all individuals are female. It reproduces by apomixis, in which embryos develop without fertilization.

This pampas grass, Cortaderia jubata, has long, thin, razor-edged leaves forming a large bunch grass tussock from which the eye-catching inflorescences arise. At the top of a stem several meters in height is an inflorescence of plumelike spikelets. These panicles are pink or purplish when new and they gradually turn cream or white. Each inflorescence is packed full of fruits which develop despite the plant’s having never been fertilized. Each plant produces millions of seeds per year. They disperse easily by several methods, including wind, water, and soil transport. Read more

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