Pampas Grass

Pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata, Cortaderia selloana)


Considered very invasive and is on the Hawaii State Noxious Weed List.


  • Large clumping grass that may reach 2 meters (6 ft) or taller
  • Leaves are narrow and have sharp, serrated edges
  • Showy white to purple flower plumes are sometimes used in floral arrangements
  • Native to South America, introduced to Hawaii as ornamentals


  • Seeds are spread long distances by wind. In native forests they outcompete native plants and create a fire hazard.
  • Cortaderia jubata plants are able to produce viable seeds without cross-pollination
  • C. selloana, requires cross-pollination between male and female plants to produce viable seeds, spread primarily by wind. The invasive nature of C. selloana was not recognized in Hawaii in past years because only female plants were cultivated and sold. Male plants are now available.
  • Serious pests in California and New Zealand

In Hawaii:

  • Kauai: Three known populations, two of which have been removed by KISC. KISC is working to educate the third landowner and the general public about the invasiveness of this species.
  • Oahu: OISC is working to educate property owners where the few ornamental plantings of C. selloana exist, and requests that pampas grass be removed and replaced with non-invasive alternate plants.
  • Maui: Both species of pampas grass were planted as ornamentals in upcountry Maui, and Cortaderia jubata has spread to other yards, pastures, native forests and Haleakala National Park. MISC is working to control both species before they become widespread. Property owners can help by contacting MISC for free help in removing these plants.
  • Molokai: All known plants were in landscaping situations, which MoMISC controlled.
  • Lanai: None known.
  • Kahoolawe: None known.
  • Big Island: Pampas grass was planted as an ornamental in Waimea and Volcano. BIISC has controlled plants in both areas and hopes to eradicate it with all landowners permission.

For more information, see: