Pingao, Ficinia spiralis is commonly known as golden sand sedge. It is coastal sedge.
Overview of P?ngao or Ficinia spiralis
• It is native to New Zealand.
• This plant is used for its leaves for weaving by people of Maori.
• When dried the leaves, turn yellow.
• It is a grass plant which is stout.
• It can grow up to a height of 30-90cm.
• It bears rope like stolons that are tough and long.
• They have extensive stolons.
• The leaves are stationed on dense tufts.
• The leaves are narrow and about 2-5mm in width.
• The leaves are orange to yellow in color.
• They appear as orange hue when seen from a distance.
• The plant can reproduce itself by stolons.
Scientific Classification of P?ngao or Ficinia spiralis
• Kingdom : Plantae
• (unranked) : Angiosperms
• (unranked) : Monocots
• (unranked) : Commelinids
• Order : Poales
• Family : Cyperaceae
• Genus : Ficinia
• Species : F. spiralis
• Binomial name : Ficinia spiralis
• In December/January, head to the local beach and also locate a site that has a good population of pingao growing.
• Gather seeds when the seed heads are normally dry to ensure that whenever you run your fingers over the seed head, the seed starts to fall out.
• Cut off the entire seed head with a sharp knife. Keep the closest seed heads to the one you may have selected to self seed normally onto the sand to make sure population growth in that region.
• After you have collected enough seed heads, take them with you back to the house for drying. You will find countless seeds in every one seed head.
• Place the seed heads into a sack and hang around of out of reach of mice. Leave the seed heads to dry out for 1 month, after that put in airtight jars. Leave them until July/ August.
JULY/AUGUST – PLANTING THE SEED IN SEED TRAYS
• Get your seed trays prepared by combining in approximately one third beach sand with two thirds potting mixture.
• Seize a tool and scrape the seed from the seed heads. Do that over a dried up container to trap the seeds. You will definitely get some husks or even chaff in your container too, however don’t bother about this.
• Spread the seed into the prepared seed trays, as you will spread salt and pepper onto the food. Cover gently with soil and always keep seed trays inside or even guarded from the wind, rain and frost.
• Keep the seed trays on a water tray to be watered from the bottom.
• Do not over water.
• Let the seeds germinate to approximately 15cm tall. This takes two months.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER – TRANSFERRING THE SEEDLINGS INTO A ROOT TRAINER
• Prick out the seedlings and place them in root containers.