Pampas Grass (gynerium argenteum), a large perennial grass from the plains of South America. It is dioecious, and the generic name (Gr. Pampas Grass 130021 i female, and Pampas Grass 130022 , wool, hair) is derived from the fact that the glumes of the female flowers are furnished with long hairs, which are lacking in the male flowers. An old and well established specimen of this grass presents an enormous tuft 4 to 6 ft. high and as much or more across, of very long narrow leaves, with rough edges, which curve gracefully and make the plant highly ornamental for its foliage alone. It flowers at the end of summer or in early autumn, throwing up numerous stalks, sometimes in an old plant as many as 40 or 50, which are from 4 to 15 ft. high, according to the strength of the plant, each surmounted by a dense panicle of flowers 1 or 2 ft. long, which in the pistillate plant are of a beautiful silky, silvery lustre. The flowers are similar in structure to those of our common reed (phragmites), to which it is closely related, with but two florets in each spikelet. This grass was first introduced into cultivation by seeds sent from Buenos Ayres to England in 1843, and is now quite common; it is easily raised from seed; but as female plants are much more ornamental than the males, and as there is no way of telling the sex of the plants until they bloom, it is customary to multiply it by division of old plants, the sex of which is known.

It is barely hardy in the climate of New York. Further south no protection is needed. Varieties have been obtained in which the plumes are tinged with purple, others with yellow, and there is one form in which the leaves are variegated with white.

Pampas Grass (Gynerium argenteum).

Pampas Grass (Gynerium argenteum).