Toetoe (Cortaderia species)

In 2011 toetoe was reclassified to the Austroderia genus but I’m used to it being called Cortaderia. Austroderia richardii is the main South Island form. These are large clump grasses with iconic flower heads like pennants atop a long stiff stalk. They are very showy at this time of year (summer) especially in the late afternoon sunshine. They are native to New Zealand and should not to be confused with pampas grass from South America which is an invasive weed here. Toetoe is much more refined.

Photos taken 15 January 2019, Waikoikoi (between Gore and Tapanui)






Last two photos taken by Liz



Text by Liz, photos by Nigel and Liz; Exploring Colour (2019)

15 thoughts on “Toetoe (Cortaderia species)

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    1. Pampas grass down here form massive great clumps; our native one is more compact. The native flowerheads have a lovely soft drooping form; pampas grass flowerheads are very upright and coarse in comparison. Pity anyone ever bought pampas here!

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    1. That’s the country road between Gore and Tapanui. Its a really lovely drive through farmland. The toetoe have been looking wonderful in recent weeks, especially when lit by the sun in late afternoon and early evening.


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