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Monday, 15 July 2013

Pampas Grass

Before we attended a Weed Workshop a couple of weeks ago, we couldn't tell the difference between Pampas Grass, which is a noxious weed, and our native Toetoe grass as they look so similar. In our local environment now, we seem to see nothing but Pampas grass, so I thought I would include the following extract from taranakiplants.net.nz to help others recognize it. It can be destroyed with digging out - for smaller plants, or poisoned. This site has good photos to help compare the two.
Another good site for weed info is www.weedbusters.org.nz


toetoe-pampas comparison
Native toetoe (left) showing waxy surface of leaf base, compared to exotic pampas grass (right)
toetoe-pampas comparison
Native toetoe (left) showing ridged leaf, compared to leaf of exotic pampas grass (right).

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Do you know the difference between pampas and native toe toe?

Common and purple pampas should not be confused with the four native Cortaderiaspecies (commonly referred to as toetoe)





Toetoe is generally smaller, (no more than three metres tall when flowering) and the flowers, which are a creamy-yellow, ‘droop’ significantly from October to January.
Toetoe also has a white waxy surface on the leaf base where the common and purple pampas have ‘hairy’ leaves.
Toetoe leaves have distinct veins between the mid-rib and leaf edge. Pampas leaves have a conspicuous mid-rib but lack distinct veins between the mid-rib and leaf edge.
pampas-toetoe compared
Native toetoe flower head (left) compared tothe exotic pampas grass flower head (right). Note that pampas flowers can also droop when they get older, so don't rely on flower head alone - check the leaf base and leaf veins too.







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