Austroderia fulvida (Toetoe North Island) Native
Species: Austroderia fulvida
Synonyms: Arundo fluvida, Arundo conspicua var. fulvida, Cortaderia fulvida
Common names: Toetoe (sometimes misspelt as toitoi), toetoe-kākaho, toetoe-mokoro, toetoe-rākau. The flower stem is kākaho.
Austroderia fulvida is a native grass that is only found on the North Island and the very north of the South Island. It is scarce north of Auckland.
Austroderia fulvida has a distinctive tussock growth form, it is smaller, more compact and has wider leaves than the other species of Toetoe. It is a stout, tussock-forming grass up to 3.5 m tall when in flower. It inhabits damp areas, along streams, lakes, forest margins and seepages on hillsides. It can be found on the coast to subalpine areas. It is often naturalised in suitable damp habitats. Flowering occurs September to November.
The Māori used the toetoe leaves to make baskets, kites, mats, wall linings and roof thatching. It was also used to make containers to cook food in hot springs. The flower stalks were also useful - as frames for kites, and in tukutuku panelling. The seed heads themselves were used on fresh wounds to stop bleeding. Other medicinal uses included treatment of diarrhoea, kidney complaints, and burns.
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