Scientific name: Cyperus ustulatus
Wetland plant group: Sedge
Plant growth form: Up to 0.8m tall
Related species: This plant has six introduced relatives that are sometimes found in wetlands or damp pasture. None are as big or have dark brown seeds.
Toetoe upoko-tangata (giant umbrella sedge, coastal cutty grass) grows in lowland and coastal areas at the edge of wetlands or beside streams. The leaves are broad, folded and glossy. The elongated spikes of flowers become shiny, dark brown seed heads which are held within a 'cluster' of leaves at the top of a triangular stem.
Māori used toetoe upoko-tangata to thatch houses.