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Cortaderia richardii (Toe Toe Grass)

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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Hardiness level Green

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Hardy anywhere in Britain below approximately 1000ft (300m)

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.

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Shipping Information

Royal Mail

All small orders of tools, selected irrigation and lifestyle accessories are shipped 1st class with Royal Mail straight to your door.

Delivery by Us

All plants will be delivered by us or our haulier for a set mileage cost. Orders of ladders, pots and selected irrigation will also be dispatched this way if you cannot come and collect from our nursery. Enter your postcode to calculate your delivery charge. To find out more detail click here.

Collection from Our Nursery

Order any item(s) and collect from our Nursery within 14 days. Place your order and book in a collection slot between 9am to 10am or 3pm to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.

Order and Shipping Consultation

We feel strongly about supporting all customers throughout their online journey, should you feel unsure at any point then opt in for our consultation service at checkout. One of our team to be in contact with you within 48 hours. Your order will be saved however items are not reserved at this point. You can complete or cancel your order at any point. To find out more information please click here.

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