Miniature Toetoe

Chionochloa flavicans

(previously known as Chionochloa “flavescens” and Danthonia antarctica var. alpha elata)

Miniature Toetoe / Snow Grass

ABOUT:
Very much a miniature version of a toetoe. No recorded use or significance by Māori, though much-loved in contemporary landscaping for the sharp contrast between lush leaves and creamy flower-heads.

IDENTIFY:     
0.75m high x 1m wide. Lush green slender, weeping leaves. Lime-green plumes 1-1.5m high in early summer, turning straw-coloured as the seed ripens.

USE:
Flowing leaves and weeping flower-heads lend this plant to banks, rockeries and where excessive hard lines require breaking. Best planted en-masse, and contrasted against rocks or plants with larger rounded leaves.

PLANT:
Prefers lots of light, but shelter from the hottest part of the day Auckland north. In hotter sites, ensure good drainage. Don’t allow to dry out when establishing. Plant 0.8-1m apart.

SIMILAR TO:     
Toetoe (Austroderia spp.) – Larger, flower heads more upright. Leaves a duller blue-green, with a prominent mid-rib.
Wind Grass/Gossamer Grass (Anemanthele lessoniana) – leaves more russetted orange-green. Flower-heads pink, feathery and insignificant.

MORE INFO:
Taranaki Education Resource – Miniature Toetoe
NZ Plant Conservation Network – Chionochloa flavicans

 

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