BOTANICAL NAME: Aristida junciformis
COMMON NAME: nGongoni grass
A clump-forming grass with thin needle-like leaves of a rich green hue for much of the year. They form rounded or mound-like clumps 40cm to 50cm in diameter, creating a soft, fluffy appearance. During late summer and autumn, tufty flowers are borne, initially greenish, burning white to brown with age. During winter, the foliage usually turns pale brown, as do many indigenous veld grasses.
nGongoni grass is used to create grassland gardens and is interspersed with bulbs, aloes and shrubs for a wild look. They can also be effective planted en masse on mounds to create hills and valleys in the landscape. They are useful as filler plants in mixed borders where the texture, shape and form of the grass contrasts strongly.
nGongoni grass must be grown in full day sunshine. It prefers well-drained soil, even surviving in poor sub-soil. An application of a high nitrogen fertiliser in spring and again in summer improves performance. Untidy or straggly plants must be pruned down to almost ground level in late winter or early spring. Tough, cold-hardy and enduring.