Restios

Updated 22 October 2016

Packets from this list are $4.50 each, and includes “Super Smoke Plus” to aid germination.

The Restionaceae is a family of rush like plants largely from the southern hemisphere. Restios — or the species offered here– are plants that appreciate acid soils of low fertility. January 2007 provided useful cold hardiness information on many species-night temperatures were 20 degrees F. or lower for quite a few days here.

Best germination comes when seeds are treated with “Super Smoke Plus” prior to planting, and when they experience a marked difference (30 degrees F. is ideal) between day and night temperatures after they are sown. Best in soils low in phosphorus.

All restios offered here are from South Africa.

Cannomois grandissmaller seed This giant bamboo like clumper makes thick culms often pink to red in color when they are new. Can reach 10′. The very large seeds of this species have been difficult to germinate even after treatment with ‘instant smoke’, 10 % germination typical. Previously called Cannomois virgata. No damage at 20 degrees F. 50 seeds

Chondropetalum (now Elegia) elephantinum – Dark green erect culms are banded with chestnut bracts, which peel off to reveal their shiny golden undersides as culms mature. Eventual size is 5’+ tall. Can grow in water or with drought. One of the hardiest (known in cultivation) species — seemingly untouched in the severe freeze of 1998 in inland valleys in the San Francisco Bay area. No damage at 20 deg, F. 100+ seeds

Chondropetalum (now Elegia) tectorum -Smaller scale than Chondropetalum elephantinum, tidy clumps reach 3-4′, with a narrower base and very dark green culms. The same chestnut bracts reveal gold undersides as they peel from the stems. Graceful, adaptable. No damage at 20 deg. F. 100+ seeds

Ischyrolepis (now Restio) venustulus – A mounding species to 3′ high. Plants grown “lean” have shiny bright green smooth “naked” stems. From higher altitudes, so may have increased hardiness. No damage at 20 degrees F. Previously listed here as both I. sieberi and I. sieberi venustulus but closer inspection and new botanical information settled the issue. 50 seed

Restio similis – Small clumping species to 18″ makes draping, fine textured clumps. Fine dark green stems, with mostly unbranched culms, are tipped by shining bronze flowers in summer. Can grow in dry gardens. 50 seed

Rhodocoma arida – Erect blue gray columns of leafless culms reach 5’+ in this species. Typical (bronze) flowers are interesting, but not striking. Drought tolerant. No damage at 20 degrees F. 50 seed

Rhodocoma capensis – Tall, erect columns of branched “horsetail” dark green stems droop at their tips. Small flowers are golden and line the branch tips. This is very graceful in form and creates great contrast with all other plants. Clumps here are 6’+ at present and are a visual treat in the garden. Untouched at 20 degrees F. 100+ seed

Rhodocoma species – Low tangled green leaves are densely clumping; smooth blue-green flowering stems to 6′ dangle long lacy clusters of shiny bronze “flowers” in male plants. Similar to Rhodocoma arida, but with more robust and greener (or more blue green) culms. From dry areas of the interior S.A. 50 seed

Thamnochortus fraternus – One of the smaller stature restios, found in nature on limestone soils. Grows to 2′ with bright reddish brown flowers. Female plants have nice, tidy vase shaped form. 100+ seed

Thamnochortus insignis – Forms a hemispherical kinetic sculpture in time with its slender dark green stems moving with the slightest breeze. Stems can be 5′ in length and rise from all points of the dense basal clump. Golden flowers tip these branches. Can reseed in a limited way in the garden. Good container plant. No damage at 20 degrees F. 100+ seed

Thamnochortus spicigerus – Tall species to 6′ seems to keep a narrower profile than other species grown so far. Stems are smooth and leafless and dark gray green; shiny bronze flowers are typical form. Seems drought and cold hardy. 100+ seed