Institute News

Conference 2003
Greening the City:
Bringing Biodiversity Back
into the Urban Environment


The Potential for Domestication and Seed Propagation of Native New Zealand Grasses for Turf

Alan Stewart (PGG Seeds, Christchurch)

Although native grasses are now used widely in landscaping and gardens these are all vegetatively propagated and no native species are available as seed in anything more than a few grams. Yet each year in New Zealand over 10,000 tonne of grass seed is sown of species originating elsewhere. Few countries in the world have such an overwhelming imbalance of introduced species versus natives.

This raises the question as to why don't we use seed of native grass species? Surely some of our native grass species have potential to be harvested and used outside gardens. If we could domesticate seed of even one species for revegetation, turf or pasture use it could be a breakthrough.

This paper discusses the issues and difficulties involved in domesticating our native grass species as well as progress towards that goal.

Conference sponsored by:

British Council NZ
The Community Trust
Landcare Research

Follow this link to view other organisations supportive of the conference

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Last updated: July 4, 2003