Astelia grandis is an imposing species similar to A.fragrans. It has wide olive green leaves with a silvery sheen beneath and reddish purple midribs. The leaves are more erect and less tapered than A.fragrans, and the clump can be up to 2m high. It is an inhabitant of swampy ground from lowland to montane altitudes throughout the North Island and to Southern Canterbury. Preferring a damp soil, it is able to withstand permanently wet feet but is also quite happy in average conditions and will grow in sun or semi shade.