Native plants


Scientific name: Austroderia toetoe
Other names: toetoe-kākaho, toetoe-mokoro, toetoe-rākau.

Pioneer Grass or similar - native to the Wellington Region
Suits: damp, dry, sunny, shelter, exposure, coastal forest garden, coastal and dune garden, wetlands and water features

About Toetoe

Previously known as Cortaderia toe toe, this species has recently changed its genus name. This toetoe is confined to the lower North Island only and is a erect forming tussock growing up to 4 metre tall with large creamy flower plumes on tall stems, an iconic part of the this landscape. It has coarse, green, flat, narrow 2−5 cm wide, with sharp-edged leaves from 1 to 3 m long. Often seen growing together with the swamp flax/harakeke (Phormium tenax).

They are generally hardy, being resilient to wind, salt spray and will grow well in full or partial sun, in dry or wet soil.

Two closely related South American species of Pampas Grass, which have been introduced are often mistaken for toetoe. These introduced species tend to take over from the native toetoe and are regarded as highly invasive. The South American species curl up toward the leaf base, ultimately decaying to a state resembling wood shavings while the dead leaves of toetoe drop off at the base of teh plant. Pampas grass flower during autumn, rathger than then the toetoe in spring.

Provides for birds

  Nectar Fruit Seeds
Key . . .

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Read more about gardening for birds or see full nectar calendar.

Provides for lizards

  • Protection from predators
  • Ground cover for retreat
  • Clump forming for camouflage and insects

Read more about gardening for lizards.

More detail