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Best uses

A fantastic restio for ground cover in areas that are in full sun with very well-drained soil. Would make a good container specimen but looks just as good edging borders or incorporated into mixed plantings. A great substitute for Carex as it's low maintenance.

Physical characteristics

A small growing, evergreen restiad growing to 0.5m tall and 0.5m wide.

Flowers and foliage

Foliage is around 0.5m long and very slender, grass-like and bright green when in growth, turning golden-green when flowering and producing seed. Tiny flowers surrounded by pale brown bracts are produced on slightly arching stems giving a soft fluffy appearance in from autumn onwards.

Preferred site

Prefers full sun with very well-drained soil. Will tolerate very dry, poor soil in windy conditions.

Preparation for planting

Always choose healthy, well-grown plants and plant after autumn rains. Before planting ensure the root ball is saturated and remove the planter bag or pot with minimal root disturbance. Trim any broken roots and plant at the same level as in the container. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball and firm in, water once planted. Make sure plants are watered well until established if planting in a drier period. Plant with some general slow-release fertiliser and then every spring apply an organic-based fertiliser such as blood and bone at a handful per square metre as new growth begins.

Maintenance tips

Apply an organic mulch annually to help suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Feed annually in spring with a balanced fertiliser such as blood and bone at a handful per square metre in spring as new growth begins. Restios resent being moved or divided so will either sulk for a long period or die. They are, however, easily propagated by seed after smoke treatment. This restio is relatively short-lived compared to others, looking at its best for around 4 years in a garden situation. Regularly remove dead stems and flowers to keep it looking at its best.

Pests and diseases


Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

African Garden