Pingao/Golden Sand Sedge Ficinia spiralis
Endemic. At risk-declining.
Pingao is a yellow/orange/red sedge grass used for decorative purposes throughout Maoridom. In spite of being a hardy plant, it grows slowly, so it is on the threatened species list. Common in the Dune Garden, it grows both in the dry dunes as well as in the dune wetland areas. Pingao’s dune building abilities are visible in the Dune Garden and is easily located in the dunes by the Surf Club.
Formerly widely distributed the decline has been brought on by a number
of factors as diverse as burning, browsing by domestic stock, damage by motor vehicles driving over dune systems and over-harvesting by weavers.
The latter would not have been an issue before it became scarce but if only leaves and not whole plants are taken, they will regenerate.and help preserve this important plant.
More difficult to grow, small numbers are planted alongside Spinifex in the dunes. Trials are underway at Wildlife Foxton Trust to see if local conditions will assist with its propagation.