Aciphylla – Bayonet plant – Speargrass – Spaniard –
There are about 40 species of perennials, in this genus. Although they look like grasses they are not related to grasses. Derives from New Zealand and some species are form Australia, found in alpine areas or windswept open grasslands at lower attitudes. With a taproot supporting rosettes of flattened linear leaves that are deeply divided, almost to the base with narrow leaves almost like grass blades with vicious spines at their tips. Strong long spine stems rise just above the blades bearing masses of small white or yellow-green star shaped flowers protected by spiny bracts.
Cultivating small ones are easy the larger one is prone to sudden collapse outside their natural environment. They need full sun, moist, but well drained, fertile, humus rich, gritty soil deep enough to allow the vertical root to grow. Leave dead leaf blades in the clump it acts like insulator.
Prone to slug damage.
Aciphylla scott-thomsonii – ‘Giant Spaniard’ – Originates from New Zealand this rosette forming perennial grows 10’ feet tall and 6’ feet wide. The leaves have pinnate or bi-pinnate leaves with a sharp spine. The blue-green 5-foot long leaves have green or pale yellow midribs with finely toothed leaflets. Bears yellowish-green flowers early to late summer.