Cortaderia richardii (Toe Toe Grass)
From N.Z.. Similar to Pampas but more evergreen, earlier flowering and more elegant. Impress your Kiwi friends with correct Maori pronunciation : Toy-Toy (not Toe-Toe) Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.
Hardiness level Green
This is the New Zealand equivalent of the better known South American Pampas grass (pronounced Toy-toy, the Māori name). Greener, more evergreen, more elegant and summer flowering. They seem adaptable to all sorts of soil types as long as they're not water-logged. As with all grasses, they like masses of light. Pampas grass is best cut down every winter to grow again as they are not evergreen but this can be left. Having said that, cutting them down every three years is a great way to rid the plant of old leaves.
The grass will grow to about 4ft x 4ft (slightly smaller than Pampas) and the gracefully arching fawn coloured flower plumes can reach 6 or 7 ft. We had a rather fine clump of them at the old nursery in the stock field. John Studzinski declared them to look 'ridiculous'. A bit harsh (and wrong), I thought. They're just Posh Pampas - both elegant and exotic. Best grown in multiples - swathes, blocks, sweeps and the like.
The penultimate picture is of Toe-Toe growing naturally by the Haast Highway on the west coast of South Island N.Z. in early February - the equivalent of early August in the Northern Hemisphere. The last picture is of it growing - more or less - in standing fresh water in the nearby Lake Moeraki. The fact that a number of plants (these and Phormium tenax spring to mind) hate boggy ground and yet will happily grow in standing (but moving) water is a mystery. It's said that roots can adapt but to tell a customer that a plant will grow in standing (moving and fresh - not salt) but not in water logged ground can cause confusion - to both them and, to be honest, us.
Propagated by us from seed from New Zealand.
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