Pampasgrass Eradication

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Invasive Species

For the past 2 years visitors to Blake Garden have been observing an ongoing effort to curtail and eradicate the pampasgrass in the "Australian Hollow" section of the garden. Originally from South America, Pampasgrass -- Cortaderia selloana -- was introduced into Blake Garden by Anita Blake & Mabel Symmes in the 1940’s (possibly even earlier). On her notecard Mable dates the addition of Cortaderia selloana as 10/31/41 and gives it collection number 602. Archival Photographs from 1958 show the pampasgrass thriving in Australian Hollow. Since it’s introduction in the garden over 65 years ago, the pampasgrass spread out and down into the marshy area of Australian Hollow. No doubt valued as an exotic -- and beautiful -- plant by collectors such as the Anita Blake, pampasgrass is now considered an invasive species, and can be a particularly troublesome weed in the Bay Area. Current eradication efforts in the garden have been concentrating on the area indicated by the oval in the above montage. The process is difficult and the project is long term, but progress is being made with the help of UC Students and garden volunteers. For more information about pamasgrass and invasive species in general visit the: UC Weed Research & Information Center.