Alter-natives Wholesale Nursery

Anemanthele lessoniana
Wind grass, Gossamer grass

(Formerly known as: Stipa arundinacea, Oryzopis rigida, Oryzopis lessoniana)


Wind grass has a beautiful range of colours in the leaves.  They can get even more red than these when the ground is a little dry and when the plant gets older.   These are young plants in 1 litre pots.

A medium sized grass growing to about 80cm.  Its foliage ranges in colour from green, yellow, orange and red.  When the wind blows the leaves dance around showing the colour and reflecting the sun from the slightly glossy leaves.  It looks great planted in mass or as a single plant.  The flower heads are very impressive, being taller than the leaves and very fine.

Naturally occurring on both the North and South Island but mostly on the east coast down as far as Otago.


Meaning of the botanical name:

(from meanings & origins of botanical names of NZ plants, by Marie Taylor)

Anemanthele - "windsept plume". Gk. anemos, wind; anthelion, a flowerlet or inforescence.

lessonianus - Named for P A Lesson, but some Lesson plants were collected by his elder brother, Rene Primevere Lesson (1794-1849) of the French vessel "Coquille" on d'Urville's first voyage.  "Coquille" was renamed "Astrolabe" for the second voyage.


Maori names:

(Most commonly used name/s first & underlined.  Region or tribal use if known in brackets.)

I have no known Maori names for this plant.


Common names:  (Most commonly used name/s first & underlined.)

Gossamer grass, Wind grass

This page was updated on 30 May 2014.


Alter-Natives Nursery & Landscaping

101 Kioreroa Road


09 974 8733


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