Ok, this isn’t strictly a flower, but it is a native plant of New Zealand. I want to focus on native plants this month leading up to ANZAC day.
This plant is the Toetoe and here is some info from my go-to encyclopedia – Wikipedia
Austroderia is a genus of five species of tall grasses native to New Zealand, commonly known as toetoe (sometimes misspelled as “toitoi”) The species are A. toetoe, A. fulvida, A. splendens, A. richardii and A. turbaria. They were recently reclassified in 2011 from theCortaderia genus, although their distinctiveness had been recognized as early as 1853.
The name toetoe comes from the Māori language.
Two closely related South American species are Cortaderia jubata and C. selloana (Pampas Grass), which have been introduced to New Zealand and are often mistaken for toetoe. These introduced species tend to take over from the native toetoe and are regarded asinvasive weeds. Among the differences between Pampas, Toetoe has a drooping flower head, a cream coloured plume, and the leaves do not break when tugged firmly. Toetoe also has a white, waxy bloom on the leaf-sheath and conspicuous veins between the midrib and leaf margin.
The Māori used the toetoe leaves to make baskets, kites, mats, wall linings and roof thatching. It was also used to make containers to cook food in hot springs. The flower stalks were also useful – as frames for kites, and in tukutuku panelling. The seed heads themselves were used on fresh wounds to stop bleeding. Other medicinal uses included treatment of diarrhoea, kidney complaints, and burns. Toetoe is New Zealand’s largest native grass, growing in clumps up to 3m in height.
Māori names including toetoe are: toetoe-kākaho, toetoe-mokoro, toetoe-rākau. The flower stem is kākaho.
Toetoe is also known by its common name ‘Toi toi’ and ‘Cutty grass’, especially amongst children, because the serrated leaf edges that can inflict cuts to the human skin. This name is also used in New Zealand to refer to Gahnia setifola (mapere) and Cyperus ustulatus(upoko tangata).
I have driven past these plants so often, but never stopped to take a photo of them. On Tuesday while at Pakowhai Park I found some right at the end of the park. It was very peaceful down there.
At least I hope I got the species right. I have been known to be wrong. The wind was blowing rather strong at the time I was taking these photos.
Thanks for visiting.