pampas grass, any species of the genus Cortaderia, tall South American plants of the family Poaceae ( grass family) cultivated in warm climates for ornament. The common pampas grass ( C. argentea or selloana ) is a perennial with a cluster of long narrow drooping leaf blades. The male and female flowers are borne on separate plants; the ones which bear the female flowers have large, silvery, plumelike panicles which are sold for decorative purposes. Pampas grass is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Poaceae.
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