Cape Thatching Reed

Elegia tectorum

Dakriet, Deckreed

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A tufted reed belonging to the family of Cape reeds (restios) with cluster of seed heads on the tips. Some plants can reach up to 1.5m high and can grow in a variety of soil types, but prefers moist well drained soils, but as it matures can handle more arid conditions. Planted en-mass it makes a stunning display when moving and swaying in the breeze. It makes a lovely addition to an indigenous garden when cobined with other fynbos and proteas.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Autumn

Fruiting time

Summer

Harvesting

Harvesting thatching reeds occurs just as the new growth appears and reeds cut just above the new growth shoots (being careful not to damage the growth tips).

Propagation

Seed

The seed is extremely small. Sow into seeding trays in Autumn. Place a layer of sand on top. Keep moist. Germination time is 3-8 weeks.

Special features

Drought resistant

Once established, it is fairly drought resistant.

Wet sites

Grows happily in bog and marsh areas.

Special features

Origin

South Africa, Western and Eastern Cape

Natural climate

Mediterranean in moist soil

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Thatching

Reeds are tradionally used in thatching roofs.

Personality

Family

Restionaceae

Flower colour

Brown, Insignificant

Scent

None

Problems

Relatively pest and disease free.

Companion plants

Proteas, pincushions, ericas and other fynbos species

Credits

profile iconElegia tectorum
by Sharon Turner, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, & Hanneke Jamieson, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, August 2001. Updated August 2016 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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