Smaller growing Cortaderia, 4m in height.
Austroderia is a genus of five species of tall grasses native to New Zealand, commonly known as toetoe. Cortaderia toetoe is most commonly found in the lower North Island. Toetoe is New Zealand's largest native grass, growing in clumps up to 3m in height Often the native New Zealand species can be confused with pampass grass which has been introduced from South America and grows alot more invasively than toetoe. From midsummer, towering upright stems bear nodding golden yellow plumes that stay into winter. Toetoe naturally grow along water margins, and lend themselves to planting along streams, ponds or coast. They naturally occur in a large clumps, so are well suited to group plantings and look great planted in mass.
The Māori used the toetoe leaves to make baskets, kites, mats, wall linings and roof thatching.
The distinctive feather flower stalks were also useful - as frames for kites, and in tukutuku panelling.
The white plumes of the toetoe seed heads were compacted into a covering that would stop bleeding.
Other medicinal uses included treatment of diarrhoea, bladder, kidney complaints and burns.
C. toetoe thrives best in full sun, well drained soils and is fairly drought resistant once established. Can be used as a focal point in small gardens and also does well in large containers.
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