Aciphylla is a most unusual genus of plants, native to New Zealand with one exception. It belongs in the Apiaceae and is thus related to carrot, parsley, dill, celery etc. In appearance however, Aciphylla has little in common with these vegetables but rather has thick, very hard, spiky foliage in rosettes much more reminiscent of certain Agave or Yucca. A. similis is a dwarf species that forms clusters of small rosettes with short, yellowish-green, pinnate leaves. It is found in grassland in the mountains in the southern part of the South Island of New Zealand between 900 and 1100 m (3000 and 3600 ft.). In cultivation it will do best in cool temperate climates, where it requires a sunny or only lightly shaded spot. It does not like high summer temperatures, especially when combined with high humidity, and is a perfect replacement for Agave and Yucca in such climates. For best germination results, keep seeds after sowing at around 20ºC (68ºF) for two to four weeks, then expose to light frost for about a month, finally keep around 10ºC (50ºF) for germination. This process simulates winter and is required to break down germination inhibitors. Germination may occasionally still take months, sometimes over a year before sprouting.