Selliera radicans (Bonking Grass)

Full Sun
Soil Type:
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Plant Overview

An excellent and unusual ground cover plant from New Zealand and rarely seen here. Small, white, scented flowers in summer. 

This hardy little plant is excellent and all but unknown in the UK. Useful for underplanting large containers or as ground cover. It is now even being used as an alternative to grass in some areas.

Its vibrant, light green colour makes an expanse of Selliera a beautiful sight; one which is further enhanced by the appearance of its copiously-produced white flowers in summer.

Can cope with coastal positions well and seems to be fine in wet or very dry soil, and anything in between. Not evergreen in severe winters.

Height and spread: 10cm x 30cm

Common name(s): Bonking Grass; Victorian Swampweed; Tongue Plant.

Regarding the origin of the intriguing name Bonking Grass, we are grateful to retired nurseryman Geoff, from Auckland New Zealand for the following information:

"Living in West Auckland at Oratia I employed staff from around the western suburbs extending over the Waitakere Ranges (Auckland’s water supply area covered in native forest) to the West Coast beaches bordering the Tasman Sea, including Piha. It is the most populated suburb with rugged cliffs and black sandy beaches both of which are pounded by rough surf, making it a surfers destination.

High above one portion of the cliff called the ‘Blow Hole' there is a flattish area of land locally named the ‘Tennis Court’ because of the closely cropped coastal turf that grows there. One of the main components in the turf is Selliera radicans and it is the smooth cool texture of its foliage that makes the area so attractive for picnics and perhaps tennis. Of course such a private and remote site provides opportunities for more intimate activities, and the nick-name for Selliera became ‘Bonking Grass’. It is not a grass at all, but a flowering dicotyledon, as are most of the other species making up the coastal turf."

All our plants are supplied in 9cm pots unless otherwise specified. Plants in this size pot establish quickly in the garden and often outpace plants in bigger pots planted at the same time. Our potted plants can be planted immediately, unless otherwise noted, or you can leave them in their pots until you are ready to plant.
The majority of our plants are grown outdoors. This means that they follow their natural growth patterns and are ready to plant at any time of the year. If you order the plants in winter, they are likely to be dormant and died back to ground level, ready to shoot again in spring - just like the herbaceous perennials in your own garden. Very occasionally, in winter, we may indicate on the packing slip that a plant needs to be hardened off before planting out. This will be because it has just come out of a polytunnel. If you have any questions about our plants or growing methods, please feel free to drop us an email.
We grow most of what we sell ourselves, in our nursery in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Our prices include VAT at 20%.