Monocot herbs

Grasses and grass-like (monocot) herbs

The following list of grasses and grass-like herbs can be readily grown in New Zealand gardens:

Anamanthele lessonii (wind grass)
Hardy grass that can be used in a container, as a groundcover or in rocky areas or as a woodland understorey. Has been known to become weedy in some garden situations.





Apodasmia (Leptocarpus) similis (oioi)
Tolerates most conditions (including salt) provided it is kept moist. Can be used in a container or in wetlands.







Arthrodpodium cirratum (rengarenga lily)
Reasonably tolerant especially if sheltered from heavy frost. Can be used as a groundcover and on a rockery or in a woodland.





Astelia banksii

Prefers damp and shaded garden sites.







Astelia chathamica
(Chatham Island astelia)
A hardy plant that can be used in most garden situations.







Astelia fragrans
(kakaha)
A hardy plant of boggy or damp areas.








Astelia grandis (Swamp astelia)

Hardy and well suited to damper parts of a garden but will need plenty of space.






Baumea teretifolia
Tolerates most conditions if in a wet site. Can be uesd in wetlands or aquatic environments.






Bolboschoenus fluviatilis
(ririwaka)
Tolerates most conditions except drought and grows in salty soils. Can be used in aquatic environments and in wetland sites.





Carex albula

Best grown in full sun in open areas. Makes a good groundcover.







Carex buchananii

A good hardy plant that can be used in an open border, rockery or in a container.







Carex chathamica

A very hardy feature plant and would suit being put beside water.






Carex comans

A hardy quick growing plant that may be uesd in a container or border.






Carex dissita
Best grown in full sun and useful as a fill-in plant.







Carex flagellifera

A hardy, variable, mopheaded species.








Carex petriei

Hardy and suitable for growing as a groundcover near water.





Carex testacea
A hardy forest, grassland and sand dune plant.Suitable as a feature plant.






Carex trifida
(tataki)
A large, bold, hardy species that does well close to water.








Carex secta

Hardy and an excellent choice for larger wetlands or pond margins.






Carex virgata

Hardy and useful in shaded borders beside water.






Chionochloa bromoides


Moderately hardy, wind resistant plant. Useful for massed plantings or as a feature.





Chionochloa conspicua subsp. conspicua

A hardy feature plant.






Chionochloa flavicans subsp. falvicans

Hardy species, tolerating a wide range of conditions, and useful in borders, on rocky sites, in wet areas and shrubbery.






Chionochloa rigida subsp. rigida

A very hardy species and useful for massed plantings especially in drier areas.






Chionochloa rubra subsp. rubra var. rubra
A hardy plant but likes to be kept moist. Useful for a border or shrubbery or as a water feature plant especially where it is exposed to a gentle breeze to ruffle the leaves.



Cortaderia richardii


Hardy and a very versatile plant that can adapt to a wide range of uses and habitats.





Cortaderia splendens

Reasonably hardy nd a large species that spreads by rhizomes.






Cortaderia turbaria
Moderately hardy but does not tolerate drying out. Useful in damper areas of the garden.





Desmoschoenus spiralis
(pingao, pikao)
Tolerates most conditions but likes sand and can be used as a groundcover on stony or sandy sites.







Dianella nigra
(NZ blueberry)
Tolerates most conditions and can be used in a container, as a woodland understorey or in a rockery. Berries may be poisonous.






Earina autumnalis
(Easter orchid)
Grows on trees and occasionally on logs.










Eleocharis sphacelata
(kuta)
Tolerates wind, shade and sun and may be used in wetland areas in the garden.






Elymus solandri
(blue wheat grass)
Tolerates most conditions and can be used in a rockery or as a groundcover.







Festuca coxii (Chatham Islands blue grass)
Tolerates most conditions and can be used in a container, as a groundcover or in a rockery.







Festuca novae-zealandiae
(hard tussock)
Tolerates most conditions. Can be used as a groundcover or in a rockery.






Gahnia lacera (tarangarara)
Shade tolerant and can be used as a groundcover or as a specimen plant.





Gahnia xanthocarpa (giant sedge)

Tolerates most conditions and can be used in aquatic environments or in wetlands. Commonly used in revegetation.





Hierochloe redolens
(scented holy grass)
Tolerates most conditions except drought. Can be used as a groundcover and woodland plant.







Juncus edgariae (wiwi)
Tolerates most conditions provided it is kept moist. Can be used in aquatic situations, in wetlands and for revegetation planting.






Juncus pallidus
(giant rush)
Tolerates most conditions provided it is kept moist. Can be used as a specimen plant and in wetlands.







Lepidosperma austral
e
Tolerates most conditions provided it is kept moist. Can be used in wetlands.









Libertia peregrinans (creeping NZ iris)
Tolerates most conditions including drought. Can be used as a groundcover or in a rockery.






Luzula rufa
var. rufa (wood rush)
Tolerates most conditions. Useful in a rockery or in a mixed groundcover.









Machaerina sinclairii
(pepepe)
Tolerates sun and shade and can be used as a specimen plant or in wetlands.







Microlaena avenacea
(bush rice grass)
Tolerates most conditions but does like some shade. Can be used as a ground cover or in a woodland.








Microlaena stipoidea
(meadow rice grass)
Tolerates most conditions and useful as a groundcover or turf.







Oplismenus hirtellus subsp. hirtellus (basket grass)
Tolerates wind and shade and can be used in a container, the conservatory or as a groundcover.





Phormium cookianum subsp. hookeri
(wharariki, mountain flax)
Very hardy plant used in margins of wetland areas, taller borders, shrubbery or as a specimen plant.



Phormium tenax
(harakeke)
A very hardy plant and useful in a range of garden situations including tall borders or wetlands.







Poa anceps

Tolerates a wide range of conditions including dry environments. Can be used in borders, especially as a groundcover under trees.






Poa cita
(silver tussock)
very hardy and useful for massed plantings especially in drier areas.








Scheonoplectus (validus) tabernaemontani (bullrush)
Tolerates most conditions except drying out. Can be used in wetlands.






Schoenus pauciflorus
(false snow grass)
Tolerates most conditions and a useful wetland plant.








Typha orientalis
(raupo)
Tolerates most conditions except drying out. Can be used in wetlands.







Uncinia egmontiana
(hook sedge)
A hardy plant that can be used in a container or border or as a woodland groundcover.

Xeronema callistemon f. callistemon (Poor Knights Islands lily)
Tolerates wind, salt and shade and can be frosted. Relatively slow growing but can be used in a container, in the conservatory or as a specimen plant.

 

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This page last updated on 22 Sep 2012