More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Toetoe

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).