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White Feather Pampas GrassWhite Feather Pampas Grass

White Feather Pampas Grass Plants

Cortaderia selloana 'White Feather'

The details

Carex selloana

  • Deciduous grass
  • Large clump forming
  • Big white plume flowers on tall sturdy stems
  • Great ornamental "hedge"
  • Leaf edges are sharp
  • Grows upright in full sun
  • To 3m x 3m
Choose a size

Description

Cortaderia selloana 'White Feather' Pampas Grass - 2-Litre Pot-Grown Plants

The word "extravagant" was made for pampas grass, the majestic fluffy plumes of which are a great statement in the garden, and all you need to make lovely dry flower arrangements. As the name suggests, this variety has striking slivery white plumage that will catch the sunlight and your eye from a great distance.

Browse all of our other grasses, our perennial plants, or our alpines & wildflowers.

Features

  • Deciduous grass
  • Large clump forming
  • Big white plume flowers on tall sturdy stems
  • Great ornamental "hedge"
  • Leaf edges are sharp
  • Grows upright in full sun
  • Optional: burn it down in late winter to tidy!
  • To 3m x 3m

Growing 'White Feather' Pampas Grass

Pampas grasses are really tough, and with your help will establish almost anywhere. Their favourite soil is poorly fertile, tends towards dryness, and well drained. Full sun is best for encouraging sturdy upright growth. Plants grown in partial shade are fine, except they may flop slightly.

Like any grass, they benefit from being sheared down to low mounds in late Winter or early Spring to make way for new growth. The leaves have rough edges that can slice your skin, so gloves and a jacket with a collar are recommended for chopping back mature plants. Always wear eye protection, but watch out for cutting rather than poking with this plant.

Where it is safe to do so, burning down a mature pampas clump is the easy way to tidy up in late winter, before new spring growth appears. However, fire will kill most animals hibernating inside, which is one reason the RHS no longer promotes the practice.

  • Fire will stimulate new growth, and the ash provides a quick dose of fertility to start the year.
  • Do not accelerate the fire with anything, let it burn naturally.
  • Use a long-neck lighter to reach into the base and light the smallest, most flammable blades: if it is windy or not perfectly dry, a bunch of the pampas seedheads stuffed into the base will make the ignition easier.
  • The whole clump should catch fire quickly, burning hot for a short time, and flames may briefly leap over twice the height of the grass. In really dry conditions, the tall flames will last about 1 minute, otherwise 3-4 minutes is normal.
  • Be ready to put the fire out with a hose or large bucket of water after the bulk of foliage has burnt away and the tall flames are finished. There is no benefit in letting the top of the crown smoulder. If a clump has been left to grow for years without removing dead material, it is more important to put the fire out after the tall flames are done, to avoid singeing the top of the crown.

To cut down pampas, firmly tie the clump together at about chest height, so it's in a tight bundle, then use a chainsaw with a long bar, or a hedge trimmer to slice around the base; with a hand pruning saw or very sharp shears, cut out a small section at a time. If the bundle is big, it's helpful if a second person stands on the other side and pulls it to open the way for the cutting tool.

The cuttings, with a bit of trampling down, make a good mulch-mat for your beds or muddy pathways.

In Your Garden Design

'White Feather' looks great interplanted with its sibling 'Pink Feather'; try them in groups with three of each colour planted next to each other. Plant it where it can catch the light; it is also good for screening and would look good with bold shrubs such as mophead hydrangeas.

Did You Know?

The genus name Cortaderia is direct from the Argentine Spanish word Cortadera, cutting, after the seriously sharp leaves, which are serrated one in direction.

The species is named after Friedrich Sello (1789–1831), a Prussian botanist who worked in Brazil from 1814.

Pampas is a large geographic region in South America, which covers more than 460,000 square miles of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

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