This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
This beautiful genus of Grasses needs little description, being well known throughout the country for its highly ornamental appearance. It belongs to the Reed tribe, having- 2-flowered spikelets and unisexual flowers, the male and female borne on different plants. The etymology of the name is from a female, and wool, in reference to the woolly stigmas.
Fig. 260. Gynerium argenteum. (8 to 12 feet high.)
There are several species of this genus, but only one has been introduced.
1. G. argenteum (fig. 260). Pampas Grass. - One of the most striking objects of the landscape garden, growing in dense tufts with narrow coriaceous gracefully recurved leaves 5 to 7 feet long, and flower-shaft 10 to 12 feet high bearing a dense terminal silvery panicle. The female plant is incst sought after on account of its larger and more beautiful flower-spikes, due to the feathery stigmas. Other varieties have been raised with purplish or yellow panicles, and also one or two of a dwarfer habit. South America.