Cape thatching reed

Cape thatching reed

Elegia tectorum

Scientific name

Elegia tectorum has an upright, symmetrical, tufted reed-like appearance with thin, dark green stems topped with dark brown flowers in slender compact spikes in autumn. It is a garden plant and can be used for thatching, growing particularly well alongside ponds in moist soil

The main requirements for growing restios successfully are full sun, a well-drained soil and plenty of air movement. The plants adapt to a large variety of soil types. The best time for planting restios is at the beginning of the rainy season, as the plants need regular watering during the first six weeks to two months after planting. After this initial period the plants can survive with very little additional watering

Propagation instructions

By seed

Restios are best grown from seed and since the seed in many species is very fine, it needs to be handled carefully. Researchers in the National Botanical Institute, now the South African National Biodiversity Institute, have discovered that treatment with smoke greatly increases the germination rate of this and many other species of Restionaceae.

They may be fed with standard organic fertilizers such as Seagro or Kelpak, or by sprinkling the surrounding soil with a small amount of ammonium sulphate during the growing season. Restios will respond to regular watering by showing more robust growth, but they are essentially plants which are adapted to a long dry season.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Image credit: Andrew Massyn
We currently have no seeds of this species in our seedbanks. Do you have any seeds or do you know where we can get some? Get in touch!
Nursery Quantity
Amsterdam 6
Gaby's nursery 1
Mother Nursery 18
Total 25

This table below shows how many plants we are trying to obtain for this species.

Site Area Quantity
Site #107 Mowbray 0
Total 0

Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

It can be used as a construction material

Suitable for wet sites

Elegia tectorum is indigenous to: Cape Flats Dune Strandveld Cape Flats Dune Strandveld

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