Description: Large, tussocky dioecious or gynodioecious perennials.
Leaves mostly crowded at the base of the culms.
Inflorescence a silvery-silky panicle, sometimes tinged with pink, usually large and plume-like.
Spikelets unisexual or the males with a small but sometimes functioning ovary, the sexes on separate plants; rachilla disarticulating near the base of the internodes. Lemmas several, tapering into a long slender awn, glabrous in the male, long-silky in the female.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 15 species, South America & New Zealand. Australia: 3 species (naturalized), all States except N.T.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Inflorescence white or purplish, only shortly exserted beyond the tuft of basal leaves; leaves with blade dull green, more or less folded at the base, arching away from the stem, the midrib channelled on the upper surface; plants dioecious or gynodioecious; ovary not enlarged at beginning of anthesis||Cortaderia selloana|
|Inflorescence always pinkish when young, fading to white with age, usually well exserted beyond the tuft of basal leaves; leaves with blade bright green, flat, drooping from the sheath; plants female only, caryopses well-developed in the absence of any pollen from the staminodes and before these split||Cortaderia jubata|