Syn.: Elegia verticillaris (L. f.) Kunth, Equisetum capense Burm. f., Restio verticillaris L. f., Restio verticillatus Spreng.
Family: Restionaceae R. Br.
Elegia capensis
Distribution: Area of this species is closed in the Cape Floral Kingdom (Capensis), it occurs in the South African Western Cape province from Cedarberg Mts. to the Cape Peninsula and Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains, slightly extends into the Eastern Cape province.
Ecology: It grows in fynbos vegetation, especially on the windward slopes, along streams, on wetlands, on sandy soils, in altitudes between 150–1300 m a. s. l. The plants are killed by fire and regenerate from rhizome fragments.
Elegia capensis
Description: Perennial dioecious graminoid plant up to 2,5 m tall; it forms dense clumps from rhizomes up to 5 m long; the culms are green, round, with whorls of branches on each node, branches are very fine. The leaves are reduced into loose, deciduous, brown sheath, 3,5–8 cm long. The male and female inflorescences are similar, about 35 cm long, densely paniculate. The male inflorescence contents more than 500 many-flowered spikelets, these flowers are slightly smaller than female, they have a 6 small tepals; the pistillodium is present. The female inflorescence contents 25–30 flowers, they have a 6 tepals; ovary is superior, unilocular, styles are feathery. The nutlets are triangular.
Usage: One of the first species of Restionaceae that was cultivated. It is still one of the most popular restios; inflorescences are used for interior decoration.
Threat and protection: The species is classified as LC (least concern) in the South African Red List (2009 edition).
Elegia capensis
Elegia capensis
Elegia capensis
Elegia capensis
These images were taken in the Republic of South Africa, Cape Town, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (25. 9. 2012).