December 6, 2019

Call Me Oioi

Plants from Middle Earth

Garden Maine’s New Zealand Extravaganza – Celebrating a Completely Unexpected Journey

Anna Paton Photo | Leptocarpus similis - Jointed wire rush - Oioi

Anna Paton Photo | Leptocarpus similis – Jointed wire rush – Oioi

With all of the coastline of New Zealand, chances are good you might happen across jointed wire rush, a reed endemic (see explanation below) to the country. Also named Apodasmia similis, Leptocarpus similis is a coastal plant often found along estuaries but also can be found around peat bogs and hot springs. Oioi grows to about 18 inches tall with brownish bracts at the joints. It flowers from October to December, with fruit from December to March. Even though it is a coastal plant that thrives in marshy conditions, it can be grown in the garden. Interestingly, if the plant is grown in poor, dry soil, it takes on an orange hue.

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Photographs kindly provided by Anna Paton of Auckland, New Zealand, at Auckland Botanic Gardens in November 2012. For a brief interview with Anna, click to read here.

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“New Zealand’s flora is described as being unique due to our long isolation many thousands of years ago. We have some 2,357 different plant species and approximately 80% of them are endemic, meaning they don’t occur anywhere else in the world.”

– From the Auckland Botanic Gardens website

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How did all this come about? You can read about how Janine Pineo of Garden Maine found Anna Paton, more than 9,000 miles away, as the crow flies. If a crow could fly 9,000 miles like that. Click here for that story.