A clumping plant to 80 cm with razor sharp strappy leaves and distinctive red-brown seeds on flower spikes to 25 cm. Gahnia aspera occurs in Wet Eucalypt Forest. It attracts several species of butterfly
Generally hardy and disease free, it prefers light shade, and can add interest in an area planted out with sedges such as a bog garden or rain garden where there is moisture. Avoid using it as a path edging. The microscopic serrations along the leaf edge can cut the unwary gardener, hence the common name Sword Sedge.
In its natural distribution area, from the South Coast of NSW to Northern Queensland, Ghania aspera is a common plant. However it is not readily available to the home gardener as it takes about 18 months to propagate from seed. Coolum Native Nursery stocks it periodically.
This article is part of our Gardening with natives series.