Pampas grass is an invasive plant with fast, dense thicket of razor sharp leaves. It originally came from Argentina. It is almost impossible to remove and the dry areas of the plants are a fire hazard. It can grow eight to ten feet tall with plumes up to twelve feet. The seeds from these plumes are carried by the wind and before long the plants will take over your lawn and garden. There is no law prohibiting the sale or use of pampas grass in the state of California. However, some nurseries have stopped selling it. I have seen it for sale locally. Many activists have been trying to get it on the list of banned plants. It is not an appropriate plant for our drought-prone Southern California.
CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife:
Pampas grass is a quickly growing grass that forms massive clumps along roadsides, steep cliffs, river banks, and open areas that have been disturbed by human activities or natural disturbances. Introduced to Santa Barbara, California in 1848 by nursery operators, pampas grass has spread all over the state, threatening native plants and the animals that rely on them.
An individual pampas grass stand can produce millions of seeds annually that travel several miles, and because these grasses are very tolerant of intense sunlight, drought, and frost, they are very efficient at establishing in many habitat types. Due to the fact that pampas grass can live over a decade, it has become a favorable plant for people to grow in their gardens.
Invasive plants such as pampas grass displace native plants and create habitats that are lower in biodiversity. Furthermore, pampas grass has leaf blades that are highly undesirable as food or shelter to birds and other wildlife, and can actually cause physical harm to those animals, including humans, because the leaves are extremely sharp. Therefore, it is important that we do our part by not planting pampas grass in our gardens, but instead plant native plants that are comparably beautiful and provide the same utility.