Austroderia richardii or Cortaderia richardii, the toetoe, is a wonderful back-of-border or shelter planting. This tall grass forms a large clump to 2m in time, with arching, soft green leaves that are shiny beneath. The tall arching plumes of creamy flowers will reach almost 3.0 metres. Far more attractive that the upright, lumpy flower spikes of its South American cousin the pampas grass (C. soelloana), the toetoe is from the South Island, where it is found alongside creeks and streams, in scrub and on the coast.
Tolerant of sun and wind exposure, it can tolerate both wet and dry conditions. It is well suited to coastal habitats and is very frost hardy. Often used in revegetation plantings such as riparian and as a low shelter.
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