Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Flowers: Pampas Grass

We are heading into the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend as we celebrate the harvest season on the second Monday of October. Our city hosts Oktoberfest for the next ten days or so and many out-of-town visitors are expected. The park lawns are freshly mowed and the city flower beds are filled with colourful mums and fall colour. I cannot resist posting another picture of Victoria Park with the changing colours reflecting in the water.

Walking around the lake on a late afternoon, I noticed the sun illuminating the flowering plumes of a large clump of Pampas Grass. This ornamental grass is native to South America but grows in a great variety of habitats and climates. Our harsh winters kill the leaves, but new shoots grow from the tussocks in the spring. It grows well near water but puts down deep roots in arid places as well.

The leaves are razor sharp and can leave a nasty, inflamed cut, so it is best to use gloves if you decide to cut some plumes for a dried flower arrangement. I did not check out the leaves.

Each flower produces many oval seeds. This plant has become invasive in some parts of the world and is banned in Hawaii and New Zealand. The roots go deep and the plant is difficult to remove once it is established. It is not invasive in our part of Canada and the flowers add a graceful touch to the landscape as they bow in the October breezes.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends.
We do have much to be grateful for in our beautiful country.


  1. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you Ruth!!!

  2. I love pampas grass! These are glorious photos, Ruth.

  3. A very happy Thanksgiving to you all...

    I have three pampas grass in my garden....I love them.....they are a wonderful addition for the wildlife garden.....

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! We are going to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend as well since my brother is here from Chile. I think it makes more sense in October than late November, anyway. The pampas grass is beautiful, your pictures are art.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving Ruth! The pampas grass grows heartily in South Georgia, though I am not sure if they are invasive there. Most times, I see them intentionally planted in yards and gardens.

  6. Anonymous8:24 am GMT-4

    Pampas Grass is beautiful. If the sun hits it just right and there is a small wind, it looks like a river flowing.

    I enjoy all of holidays, but Thanksgiving is at the perfect time of the year. This year the weather will be perfect, a bombing 23°C. I will spend Sunday Thanksgiving with family and have planned a scavenger hunt for the kids. Each holiday they look forward to what game I have created for them. I love to plan things for them, it brings them so much fun. Thanksgiving Monday I will attend the K-W Oktoberfest Parade. Last year was the first time I attended and thoroughly enjoyed it. So with items for the food bank in hand and a hot Timmies, I will venture out at 7:30am to get the best spot.


  7. Wow!A gorgeous picture of Victoria Park,this is a place I would love to visit,it looks so-o-o beautiful.The grasses are pctured in a very nice light,again,beautiful.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

  8. Anonymous9:28 am GMT-4

    American Thanksgiving isn't till November but we actually celebrated it on the equinox and will again on Samhain too (Halloween) with friends. Still, I am never one to pass up the opportunity to be thankful.

    I am thankful to have an aunt as wonderful and as in tune with the natural world as you!

    As for Pampas Grass, I love how it looks but I have this memory of living in North Carolina of it. Alex and I were playing hide and go seek and I thought it would be cool to hide in the Pampas Grass in the front yard. By the time I was through trying to do that, I was covered in papercut like slices from its leaves. Not pleasant!

    Ah childhood! Sometimes I wonder what Damian will be getting into here in no time...

  9. It is scenic: but that's often what makes them a problem to begin with. People export them to other areas trying to replicate the scenery of their beloved home land. We have the same issue down here with melaleuca.

  10. Grasses can be glorious ... if one can capture them ... and you've done a lovely job of it.

    Happy Thanksgiving ... we are celebrating at our house on Monday. There will only be 6 of us this year.

  11. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! In these trying times, we really do need to be thankful.

  12. Happy Thanksgiving, Ruth--to you and your family.
    Your photos are lovely--what a colorful serene time of year.

  13. Ruth that picture of the park makes me want to go there...I have never been. I think we may make a stop there tomorrow!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Ruth,

    We saw pampas grass on our vacation and it grows in this area as well, usually along the roads in ditches. It is beautiful at this time of year.

    Victoria Park is such a pretty place. I must visit it sometime. My favorite trees are weeping willows and it looks like there are quite a few in the park.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friend. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


  15. I think I shall try pampas grass here if I can find it.
    We are celebrating Thanksgiving with chicken & beef on Philip home made grill. We are celbrating the blessings of the past year and looking forward to the ones of the coming year.
    There are no turkeys so will have to remember the ones that Tim cooks.
    Have a blessed and memorable day.

  16. A very happy Thanksgiving weekend to you, Ruth.

  17. What a beautiful post!

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Ruth!

  18. Thanks to everyone who commented and shared their thoughts and for the Thanksgiving greetings!

  19. Pampas Grass is lovely, always.

    Your photos show just how beautiful they are.

  20. Happy thanksgiving to you! I love the grass rustling in the breeze. Autumn.


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