Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: pīngao

with 15 comments

On February 13th we visited the Puheke Reserve on the northern shore of the Karikari Peninsula in the Northland region of New Zealand. My attention was soon drawn to a plant that on the whole grew toward the sea even as individual tufts tended to curl back in the opposite direction. The best I can tell, the plant is pīngao, a sedge that botanists classify as Ficinia spiralis. It’s endemic to New Zealand but animal grazing and the spread of a non-native grass have continued to curtail this sedge’s historical range.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 23, 2017 at 4:43 AM

15 Responses

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  1. Lovely


    March 23, 2017 at 4:58 AM

  2. This is beautiful 🙂


    March 23, 2017 at 5:11 AM

  3. Very nice picture! 🙂


    March 23, 2017 at 6:30 AM

  4. It looks like a toboggan headed down that sandy slope. Sedges are fascinating. I’ve just recently learned a helpful little verse you probably know: ““Sedges have edges, rushes are round; grasses have nodes, and willows abound.”


    March 23, 2017 at 6:50 AM

    • I’ve heard the first part as “sedges have edges” and “sedges have three edges.” I may have heard the second part. I’m pretty sure I haven’t heard the third and fourth parts. In NZ I noticed some red roots sticking out into a stream; then I realized they came from a willow and therefore weren’t native in NZ. Many non-native plants abound there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2017 at 6:58 AM

  5. I love this photo, Steve. It reminds me of children running joyfully down the dune to the shore. I have a sedgeing friend who would love to botanize there.


    March 23, 2017 at 7:55 AM

    • Linda saw a toboggan and you’re reminded of children running joyfully. Oh, my impoverished imagination.

      I hope your sedge-loving friend makes it to New Zealand. Same for you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2017 at 8:02 AM

      • I’ve been away from WordPress for a few weeks, and have missed much.
        I’m so glad that you and Eve came to visit when you did~it seems that terrorism has arrived at my beloved Illinois Beach State Park. Two ISIS flag~waving thugs were caught there, seeking to kill 20 people each. Words fail me. But thankful I am that I have rich memories there, with your visit being among the happiest.


        April 14, 2017 at 11:51 PM

  6. Looks like it’s making a run for it back to the sea. That looks like some wonderful sand akin to White Sands.

    Steve Gingold

    March 23, 2017 at 5:05 PM

    • New Zealand has so many hundreds of miles of beaches. On some of them the sand is white, as here, in other places darker. There are dunes along the coast and also further inland, like the White Sands. I expect so show at least a few dune pictures in the weeks ahead.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2017 at 6:56 PM

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