This South African cape rush is an evergreen that forms dense tufted clumps of 2′-3′ tall dark blue-green unbranched but segmented stems. The dark brown sheaths at the joints drop off in summer leaving a dark band. Late in the season the stems arch gracefully from the weight of clusters of small brown flowers at the tips.
Chondropetalum are dioecious, meaning there are separate male and female plants with different flower tassels. Male and female plants are very similar but the female flowers are held tighter and are clustered toward the tip of the stems.
Pronunciation: kon-dro-PET-a-lum tek-TO-rum
Species Meaning: comes from the Latin 'tectorum' meaning "roofing" in reference to the fact that this species has been used to provide thatching material
Chondropetalum tectorum is native to South Africa.
Plant in full to part sun. Drought tolerant and salt tolerant. It is also happy on marginal shores of water gardens and ponds. When rushes are trimmed, they need to be cut all the way to the ground because the stems do not heal. Cut be severely cut back in late winter to early spring. Do not fertilize.
Can be divided in Winter and divisions may take a full year before they go into full growth. Seed propagation requires smoke treatment.
In Our Garden
Plant ID: P19050
Found in Gondwana,
Planted in the main pathway just before the first step.
We acquired this plant from Xera.