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Useful Temperate Plants

Ficinia spiralis

(A.Rich.) Muasya & de Lange

Cyperaceae

+ Synonyms

Desmoschoenus spiralis (A.Rich.) Hook.f.

Isolepis spiralis A.Rich.

Scirpus spiralis (A.Rich.) Druce

Anthophyllum urvillei Steud.

Scirpus frondosus Banks & Sol. ex Boeckeler

Common Name: Pingao

No Image.

General Information

Ficinia spiralis is a stout, clump-forming herbaceous perennial plant spreading by thick underground rhizomes and creeping surface stems to form large colonies; it can grow 50 - 90cm tall.
The plant was traditionally used as a food and source of materials by the Maori and early European settlers, but it has become much rarer due to human activity and in many of the areas where it grows it may not be wise to harvest at present (2019)[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

44
Title
Flora of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Allan. H. H.
Website
http://floraseries.landcareresearch.co.nz/pages/Book.aspx?fileName=Flora%201.xml
Publisher
Government Printer, Wellington.
Year
1961
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work, in 5 volumes though only the first two are of interest to the plant project. Very good on habitats. There is also an on-line version.

Range

New Zealand - North, South and Chatham Islands.

Habitat

Coastal sand dune systems, favouring sloping and more or less unstable surfaces, growing mostly on the front face of active dunes and other areas where there is wind-blown sand.

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.70 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Requires a sunny position in a well-drained, light or sandy soil.

Edible Uses

Young shoots[
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
]. Sweet and palatable[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

Ficinia spiralis is native to the sand dunes along the coast of New Zealand. It has an extensive root system that makes it very useful for binding sand[
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
].

Other Uses

The dried leaves are bright yellow and are used in in weaving for making patterned baskets, raincoats etc[
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
,
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
,
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown fresh when it will usually germinate freely. Sow in trays, only just cover the seed, and place in a sunny position. Plants resent root disturbance and so, as soon as they are large enough to handle, seedlings should be potted up and grown on in individual pots until large enough to be planted out.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-07-21. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Ficinia+spiralis>

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