Alphabetical Plant Listing

Elegia tectorum (Small Cape Rush)

Small Cape Rush, Chondropetalum tectorum, Roof Reed


Award-winning Elegia tectorum (Small Cape Rush) is an eye-catching, tufted evergreen perennial with bright green stems adorned with mahogany bands. These mahogany stripes are actually protective sheaths that shield the new growth along each joint. After the stem reaches its final height, those sheaths split apart, flatten out vertically, and elegantly curl backward, while remaining attached to the node. They reveal their pale birch-wood interior color, which is so shiny that it catches the sunlight and sparkles, adding luminescent beauty to the plant. After dropping off, the dark brown sheaths leave a dark mahogany band.

Male and female inflorescences are produced at the tips of the canes in late spring or summer. They consist in dark brown-black spikelets whose weight lead the canes to gracefully arch.

  • Won the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • Grows easily in a dense fountain-like clump about 2-3 ft. tall (60-90 cm) and 3-4 ft. wide (90-120 cm).
  • Thrives in full sun in moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soils. Prefers acid soils, but tolerates alkaline soils. When in growth, maintain low humidity and water sparingly in winter.
  • The beautiful arching lines of Elegia tectorum help create magnificent and elegantly mobile combinations in the landscape. Highly versatile, it is perfect for borders where this grass will easily combine with other plants, containers, cottage gardens, coastal gardens or in prairie plantings. Makes a great accent or beautiful backdrop.
  • Drought and deer tolerant, it is virtually disease free, requires very little care and provides year round interest
  • Propagate by seed in spring after soaking for 24 hours in warm water. Propagate by division in early spring
  • Native to South Africa

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Heat Zones 7 – 11
Climate Zones 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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westhimal / 123RF Stock Photo

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Heat Zones 7 – 11
Climate Zones 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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