What is pampas grass?

Nothing captures the beguiling, golden, windblown fantasy that's the Califorina dream quite like pampas grass—aside from Didion or Eve Babitz, maybe.

As a California transplant with a black thumb who's bracing myself for the ny winter, this modest little plant has become the foremost important a part of my home. seems I'm not the sole one stockpiling these low-maintenance, feathery plumes: interior decorators, hip shop-owners, and influencers are flocking to them also . Keep reading to find out all about Cortaderia selloana , then find out how to style this floral that never dies from Corinne Mathern, a Santa Barbara interior designer; Amy Larson of Brooklyn's Shapeless Studio; and Emily Henderson, HGTV host and L.A. designer.

What Cortaderia selloana Is
Cortaderia selloana, pampas grass' fancier-sounding official moniker, may be a tall-stemmed flowering grass native to Southern California. It grows during a sort of neutral colors, from a silvery gray to light beige and golden wheat. Because it seeds prolifically, it's considered an invasive weed in some regions, and is even banned in New Zealand.

A fun, odd fact, consistent with the Guardian: Cortaderia selloana is related to swingers within the United Kingdom! Apparently, some folks within the sexy subculture grow it in their front gardens to signal their swinger status to other swingers passing by. It quite is sensible , seeing because the breezy, free-flowing nature of Cortaderia selloana makes it the sexy silk slip dress of the plant world. And though it's fluffy and soft, it's actually quite prickly to the touch (plus, it sheds, so you're more happy not poking and stroking it). Henderson describes it as soft yet sculptural, which is why it brings such an intriguing and unique visual texture to an area .

Why Designers like it 
"Pampas brings a relaxing texture into the spaces I design—I see it because the floral equivalent of a stunning , neutral-colored cashmere blanket," Mathern tells us. "Also, since i'm based in Santa Barbara where pampas is abundant, bringing it into the house represents the indoor-outdoor flow of materials that I always strive to realize with my properties."

Henderson echoes this sentiment, saying that Cortaderia selloana "evokes that easy, breezy, carefree feeling that each one folks are deep-down trying to feel… So [we] might also put it on the surface where we will see it."

Even better news? Cortaderia selloana is eternal. It truly thrives on neglect! No water needed, no sun needed, really no nurturing whatsoever, unlike roses that rot and needy fig trees that cost a fortune. Larson believes that the grass' popularity is thanks to its ease and flexibility . "It brings a natural element to an area almost like arrangement , but is neutral enough to travel with almost any color palette and elegance ," she says. "It provides a soft textural quality that delicate flowers don't Cortaderia selloana has an agricultural quality that feels especially American, which can be a reason people seem so enticed by it."

Where to shop for It
"Pampas grows wild where i'm based in Santa Barbara . So albeit it seems like an expensive floral, it’s quite accessible for everybody who is inspired by it," says Mathern. If you're lucky enough, you'll be ready to source yours from your own backyard, like Mathern does. There i'm below, gawking within the least the Cortaderia selloana growing wild in the Silver Lake neighborhood of l. a. this fall.

Otherwise, you'll find it at your local flower market. If you're in ny , Larson suggests heading to the flower district on 28th street in Manhattan. And if you are not in those two major cities and your local flower market scene isn't thriving, "Amazon features a surprisingly decent online selection," she says. my very own personal source? I always see Cortaderia selloana on display in cool vintage shops and boutiques, so I just ask them if I can purchase it off of them (pricier than usual, but it doesn't ever die, so it is a lot cheaper than buying other flowers).

How to Style It
Most designers tend to think that Cortaderia selloana looks best on its own. "The reason i really like pampas is due toits neutral, earthy color. I don’t work with dyed or faux florals. I rarely pair them with other florals," Mathern says.

Larson tells us that Cortaderia selloana doesn't like or got to sit in water, so if you are doing plan to mix in anotherpieces with it, choose dried plants, like leaves, twigs, and dried flowers. "Dried herbs are another great option because they provide off a pleasant aroma," she adds.

On the opposite hand, Henderson makes a case for dyed pastel plumes. "I think Mandy Moore’s wedding was the instance of the way to roll in the hay right," she says. "Ultimately, i feel dyed Cortaderia selloana is best fitted to events instead of home decor. But hey if you're keen on it, then choose it," she encourages.

Oh! And pro tip: Both Mathern and Larson say you'll prevent them from shedding with a spritz of toiletry . "Just give each stem a light-weight , even coating. Keep the stems separate and upright until they dry. I like better to use an aerosol hairspray for a lighter, more even application, as other spray bottles create a heavier spray which will beset the fragile plumes," Larson explains.