Common name: Pampas; cutty grass
Botanical name: Cortaderia selloana and Cortaderia jubata
Management category: Advisory

Originally from South America and was introduced into New Zealand for agricultural purposes, for shelter and stock food. It was recorded as naturalised in 1925.

Why is it a pest?

  • Tolerates heat, frost, salt, wind, wet, drought, moderate-shade, most soils, low fertility and recovers quickly from fire.
  • Massive amounts of well dispersed seed that is spread long distances by wind.
  • Colonises disturbed sites quickly and quickly grows to form dense stands.
  • Outcompetes other groundcover species and encourages the growth of weedy vines.

Where is it found?

Forest light gaps, slips, margins, disturbed sites, open habitats, riverbeds, cliffs, inshore and offshore islands, tussockland, fernland, herb field, duneland, coastline, gumlands, salt marsh, estuaries, and shrublands.

What does it look like?

  • Large-clump forming grass up to 4 metres tall.
  • Leaf base is smooth or sparsely hairy with no waxy surface.
  • Leaves are blueish-green above and dark green below and have a conspicuous midrib.
  • Dead leaf bases spiral like wood shavings.
  • Erect, dense, fluffy, white pinkish or purplish flower heads (January to June) fade as seed forms.

What are the rules?


Regional Council does not enforce the control of advisory species. It is landowner/occupier responsibility to manage these pests. Regional Council may provide advice on how to manage or control advisory species if required.

How do you get rid of it?

  • Dig-out (all year) – small patches, dispose by incineration or at transfer station. Burn or bury seedheads.
  • Spray (spring to autumn).


CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide, PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and directions for the purchase, use and storage of the product, are followed and adhered to.

Read more on pest control advice, information and regulations.