Chondropetalum elephantinum

Chondropetalum elephantinum

A striking perennial that immediately recalls a rush, though it has very different requirements. Thin vertical stems are slightly swollen at the base and have a slight zig-zag as they rise. Sage green year round this is one of the cold hardiest Restios. Eventually reaching 30” tall it forms a tidy and tight clump eventually to 1’ wide. Full sun and well drained soil with average water needs. Excellent container subject. Evergreen.

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Chondropetalum tectorum 'Dwarf'

Chondropetalum tectorum ‘Dwarf’

A very nice person from a climate far colder than ours gifted us this cute dwarf Restio. And I have to say it has performed wonderfully in my garden. It froze to the ground at 9ºF- but returned in spring right away. Seems to be one of the hardiest and easiest to grow that we have encountered. Really shines in containers where you can see the sheaths on the blue green segmented stems. Rises to about 20″ tall with many stems. In summer they are topped by clustered brown flower structures. Very nice. Well drained somewhat enriched soil (for a Restio thats odd). Full sun to very light shade. Grows fairly quickly given the conditions stated above. Light summer water. Protect containerized plants from temperatures below about 20ºF. Evergreen most winters including the bummer winter of 16/17.  We’ll make as much as we possibly can. South Africa.

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Restios are ancient plants native to South Africa their closest relative is conifers but they look like grass/reeds. None is perfectly hardy in our climate and you should only plant this spectacular evergreen perennial in a protected location. The 9′ stems are clad in curtains of soft fine leaves that hang down. The affect is brilliant. Green/ochre foliage looks good year round or until we drop to 16ºF which is fatal. That being said this spectacular plant can live in gardens for 10 years or more. Its fantastic at the milder Oregon coast. This clumping perennial gains width and height with every year. It prefers average to slightly enriched soil and mulch is beneficial- especially in autumn. Let the plant dry between watering. This bold plant also makes an exemplary container plant.  Definitely plan for it to double in size in a year. Not bothered by deer. Wonderful with other perennials or shrubs that are drought adapted. Inland locate this plant in the most protected spot in your garden preferably against a south or west facing wall. Not permanent but worth it as a risk. Able to freeze to the ground and return.

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Plant type:  |  Sun exposure:
Biome: , , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8b 20º to 15ºF
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