Elegia tectorum (= Chondropetalum t.)
Small Cape Rush
A spectacular and extremely ornamental plant in the Restionaceae (commonly referred to as Restios), native to the Cape region in South Africa, where it grows in marshes on sandy soils, usually in areas with fynbos vegetation. It forms dark green, unbranched stems, up to 1 m (3 ft.) in height, which bear terminal clusters of brownish flowers. It makes an excellent and fairly cold tolerant ornamental for warm temperate areas in USDA Zones 9 and above. Seeds may have to be treated with smoke extract before sowing at 15 to 20°C Elegia tectorum makes a beautiful cut flower and it is often used in flower arrangements. Traditionally, it was used as thatching material, as its name suggests (tectorum = roofing in Latin).