Please don’t be mad at the messenger, but I’ve got some bad news…
It seems that Pampas Grass is everywhere at events lately. With the popularity of Boho weddings and Pampas Grass all over Pinterest, couples love incorporating this fluffy, dried weed in to their weddings. But, did you know that Pampas Grass is actually a liability? Not only to you the wedding planner, but to the florist, the designer, the venue, and to your couple.
I hate pampas grass. There, I said it. Much to the shock of my wedding industry peers, I always have. I just don’t think dried (dead) plants and flowers should be a focal point in a wedding. It makes me think of Miss Havisham’s wedding table of rotting cake and flowers from Great Expectations, and therefore broken dreams and heartache. I just don’t think all that should be conjured up by wedding décor. (Yes, I know this is a “Me thing”, lol.)
In addition to my dislike of all things dried (dead) at a wedding, I’ve always had a particular aversion to Pampas Grass because I’ve always thought of it as weeds I see growing in the ditch at the side of the road. When I told a decorator in another country that I can literally walk outside my house and gather bushels of Pampas Grass, she was nearly foaming at the mouth, she spends an obscene amount to import it in for her clients.
Aside from my personal dislike of Pampas Grass, there are some important reasons that you shouldn’t use Pampas Grass at your weddings and events:
- It’s a Fire hazard and therefore, legal liability
- It’s an invasive species
Recently there have been several instances of Pampas Grass causing fires at weddings. Pampas Grass is dried, dead foliage, devoid of any moisture. It is pure kindling and can actually combust when fire hits it. Unfortunately, Pampas grass is the worst possible thing to combine with another common wedding element, candles. Add drunken guests, and you have recipe for disaster.
Wedding & Event Industry Specialist Lawyer, Caroline Fox, says she has seen several lawsuits due to fire damage from Pampas Grass at weddings. See some tips about your liability and how to protect yourself here.
Aside from being a fire hazard, Pampas Grass is becoming a problem as its a noxious weed/invasive species. Pampas grass, otherwise known as Cortaderia selloana, is a perennial grass indigenous to Uraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. Pampass grass is currently listed as an “Alert” species by the SC Exotic Pest Plant Council, and is an outlawed grass in Australia. Biosecurity officers recently raided a florist in New South Wales to seize their supply of the “noxious weed.”
Pampass grass was introduced to North America as a decorative plant and to help with soil erosion control (hence it being often found in ditches.) Unfortunately, this fast growing grass also spreads quickly, is extremely invasive, difficult to remove, lives over 10 years, and displaces any vegetation in its path. It is also a threat to wildlife, and is a source of seasonal allergies to people.
After hearing all that, I feel vindicated, lol.
by Danielle Andrews, President of WPIC Inc.