Taramea, Speargrass, Spaniard
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. squarrosa is a larger species with stiff, long, fiercely spiky, grayish green foliage, native to the North Island of New Zealand and the northernmost part of the South Island to an altitude of 1200 m (4000 ft.). In cultivation it will do best in cool or cold temperate, oceanic climates, where it requires a sunny or only lightly shaded spot. It does not like high summer temperatures and is a perfect replacement for Agave and Yucca in such climates. For best germination results, keep seeds after sowing at around 20°C (68°F) for two to four weeks, then place in the fridge for about a month, finally keep around 10°C (50°F) 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.