Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..


Botanical Name:       Cyperus ustulatus

Maori Name:            Toe toe, Upoko-tangata

Common Name:        Coastal cutty grass


Coastal cutty grass is widespread on Tiritiri Matangi.  It’s clumps provide shelter for lizards and ground nesting birds.  It’s harsh leaves have a sharp cutting edge, derived from a high silica content.  The flower stems are triangular in shape and the specific name ustulatus (scorched) describes the dark brown sooty colour of the flower heads.


Cyperus is a large, world wide genus and one member, Cyperus papyrus, which has a similar general form to our cutty grass, was used in ancient Egypt to produce the writing material papyrus.


Cyperus is Greek for sedge or marsh plant.  An alternative common name, giant umbrella sedge, is also used.


Maori used the leaves as an outer thatching material for their dwellings.

Photography by Warren Brewer © (foliage right, flowers left).