Gingidium squarrosum (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) F.Muell.
Common Name: Speargrass
Cultivated plant growing at Tresco Abbey Garden, Scilly Isles, UK
Photograph by: scott.zona
Aciphylla squarrosa is an evergreen perennial plant. It forms a basal rosette of narrow, sharp-pointed leaves about 30 - 60 long and stout flowering stems that can be 2 metres or more tall[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of a gum. The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
Found from sea-level to montane areas in North and South Islands to latitude 41° 30' south[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Hardy to about -10°c according to one report[
] whilst another says it is hardy to about -15°c[
Requires a perfectly drained gritty soil in full sun[
]. Easily grown in a moist but well-drained soil in full sun[
Dioecious but female plants have occasional male flowers[
]. Male and female plants must normally be grown if seed is required. The flowers are sweetly scented[
Root - cooked. Aromatic[
]. A very good taste[
The resin is used as a chewing gum[
Shoots and young stems[
]. No further details.
The plant yields a semi-transparent resinous gum that is edible and also used in perfumery[
Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe[
]. Stored seed should be sown in a greenhouse in late winter or early spring. Germination can be very slow. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter before planting them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Seedlings look rather like a young carrot plant[