Oioi

Apodasmia similis

(previously known as Leptocarpus similis and Leptocarpus simplex)

Oioi / Jointed Wire Rush

ABOUT:
Oioi is a feathery evergreen “rush” popular for its ability to not only grow almost anywhere, but also to restore wetland environments by trapping sediment and building up land. Māori used Oioi for roof thatching.

IDENTIFY:     
1m high x 1m wide. “Leaves” are made up of segments so that a banded effect is given. Leaves turn a russet-orange in colder weather. Generally upright, but leaves can fall flat with age or where receiving inadequate direst sunlight.

USE:
Perfect as a groundcover in exposed places, a fresh- or salt-water filtration device, or a vertical element in design. Good for stabilising erosion-prone land that doesn’t dry out too regularly. Best planted in groups or en-masse. The upright habit is popular, but doesn’t last forever.

PLANT:
Prefers full sun. Plant 50cm apart. Don’t allow to dry out when establishing.

SIMILAR TO:     
Bamboo Rush (Sporadanthus spp.) – Branching, one species only in the Chatham Islands, and the other generally 2-6m high.
Wire Rush (Empodisma spp.) – branching, widely-spreading and trailing growth habit.

ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE:     
Oioi provides important habitat for adult fish of whitebait to spawn in where salt-water meets fresh in river mouths. It is also a key host-plant for the two native waka-leafhopper insects. The rush also provides nesting habitat for a wide range of wetland birds.

MORE INFO:
O2 Landscapes – Apodasmia
NZ Plant Conservation Network – Apodasmia similis
Oratia Natives – Oioi Significance

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