Giant Gahnia

Gahnia setifolia

(previously known as Lampocarya setifolia and Mariscus setifolius)

Giant Gahnia / Mapere / Razor Sedge

ABOUT:
One of several Gahnia known as Mapere. A massive tussock with very sharp leaves – minute teeth on edges as well as on the upper side of the leaf.

IDENTIFY:     
2m high x 3m wide. Yellow-green leaves with gracefully drooping flower stems and reddish-brown hanging nuts.

USE:
A magnificent specimen where space permits. Plant away from pedestrian routes because of the sharp leaves. Suits backdrop planting, banks, and a visual contrast to vertical and large-leafed plants.

PLANT:
Fast growing, and hardy once established. Avoid disturbing the roots when planting, and plant where it gets a good amount of light. Prefers dry conditions, and shelter from winds.

SIMILAR TO:     
Giant Sedge (Gahnia xanthocarpa) – 3m high x 2m wide. Glossy dark-green leaves. Flower stems can be over 3m long, and nuts are shiny and black.
Upright Cutty Grass (Gahnia rigida) – 3m high x 2m wide. Erect flower stems. Nut is either bi-coloured red/brown and dark-brown, or dark brown and black.
Cutting Sedge (Gahnia pauciflora) – 1.5m x 1.5m. Flower stems are held well above the leaves. The nuts are either brownish-orange or yellow-cream coloured with a black tip. Leaves generally <10mm wide.
Mountain Gahnia (Gahnia procera) – 1m high x 1.5m wide. Flower stems are hidden within the leaves. The nut is uniformly brown-orange, with the tip only slightly darker.
Tarangārara (Gahnia lacera) – 1.5m high x 2m wide. Leaves come from the narrow, bamboo-like stems rather than from the plan base, and are up to 9mm wide.
Toetoe (Austroderia spp.) – leaves are lighter blue-green, and never glossy. Flower head is a very pale-brown, feathery and fluffy.

ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE:
Host to the native Gahnia Scale, which feeds exclusively on Gahnia species. Minimal damage to the host plant is ever noticed.

MORE INFO:
NZ Plant Conservation Network – Gahnia setifolia

 

 

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