Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’

17 Nov

Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila' plume (05/11/2011, London)

Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’ plume (05/11/2011, London)

Position: Full sun 

Flowering period: Late summer to autumn

Soil: Well-drained

Eventual Height: 1.5m

Eventual Spread: 1.2m

Hardiness: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Poaceae

Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’ is a dwarf variety of the perennial Pampas Grass. It’s foliage forms dense tussocks and are mid green in colour. It’s leaves are narrow and have quite rough and sharp  margins. The flowers form whitish plumes which appear in mounds above the sharp edged leaves in early autumn. The dense white panicles are 20 – 40 cm in length.

Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’ is commonly known as Dwarf Pampas Grass. The species is native to southern South America and its common name Pampas is named after the Pampas region in South America from where this plant is native.

The etymological root of the binomial name Cortaderia is derived from the Argentine name, Cortadera meaning cutting. Selloana is named after Friedrich Sello, the early 19th century German explorer who collected specimens in South America. It was a popular ornamental grass of the Victorian era. Pumila is derived from the Latin pumillus ‘dwarf’ referring to its habit.

Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila' (05/11/2011, London)

Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’ (05/11/2011, London)

The landscape architect may find Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’ useful for its architectural form and autumn flowering plumes. It looks fantastic when planted en mass. It may be panted as an informal hedge This plant is drought tolerant once established.

Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’  has been awarded the prestigious Royal Horticultural Societies annual Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’ prefers a fertile, well-drained soil. It will tolerate most pH of soils. It will not tolerate waterlogged soils.

Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’ requires little maintenance. The plumes may be removed after the winter months just before the spring growth starts.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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