Pampas is a perennial, tussock-like grass. There are two species present in Northland (Cortaderia jubata and Cortaderia selloana). Both have coarse abrasive leaves that are bluish green above and dark-green below, with a conspicuous midrib. It grows 2-3m high and has flowering stems, which can be up to 5m high, have distinctive, erect, fluffy white or pinky-purple flower heads. Pampas may be confused with the three native toe toe species which have more creamy-yellow flower heads. The pampas species also have dead leaf bases which spiral, resembling wood shavings.