Purple pampas grass
- Description: This species is a large grass, growing to over 2.5m in height. It has large flower spikes, purple in colour, where the seeds are pollinated.
- Origin and Worldwide Distribution: This species is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, and has been imported to other countries as an ornamental plant. It has escaped into the wild, and become invasive in countries like Australia, South Africa and the United States of America.
- Potential or Known Impacts: This species forms dense stands that can crowd out native species. This overcrowding can cause problems for many environments as the dense stands create fire hazards.
- How did it/could it get here? It could be imported as an ornamental species (seeds are available on the Internet), or be allowed to escape into the wild. It could be used for land reclamation, shelter belts or an emergency food stock for livestock.
- If already present in Ireland where? Not present in Ireland
- Methods for Prevention: EU-level action includes a ban on sales and any planting or keeping, including in aquaria, as well as rapid eradication of any new populations to avoid the excessively high costs associated with its management later on.
- Current Legislative Position (Listed on 14 August 2019) This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment. For further queries, you can contact the Non Native Invasive Species Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558.