Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Chondropetalum tectorum

Common Name
Cape Rush
CA Native
Non-native
Plant Type
Grass or grass-like plant
Size
4' x 4'
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Constant
Leaves
Evergreen
Evergreen
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Seed and Fruit for Birds
Growth Rate
Slow
Hardiness
Semi-hardy
Adverse Growth Factors
None
Special Features
  • Fall Color
  • Showy Flowers
  • Specimen
Water Use
  • Moderate
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
Exposure
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Sandy
Drainage
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

This rich, dark green South African native is truly sculptural.  A clumping reed-like plant, it has chocolate brown bands (bracts) along the length of the green stems and is topped by clusters of small, long-lasting brown flowers.  This stylish combination then gracefully bends from its erect center.  Found in marshes in South Africa (where it is used for roof thatching) it can also take drought conditions once established.  This is a dazzling and handsome accent plant.

 

Master Gardener Comments

This plant increases slowly by rhizomes but is not found to be invasive.  It is low maintenance except for occasional cutting out of old stems.  New growth grows from center making tidying the outside easy.  It loves water but will do with very little except for occasional summer water in hot dry areas.  A good container plant.

Varietals

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