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A picture of a Cape Thatching Reed

Cape Thatching Reed

Elegia tectorum

Also known as

Deckreed, Dekriet (Afr), Dakriet, Dekriet, Cape reed, Restio, Thatching reed

Photo by CandideUK (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Cape Thatching Reed

A photo of Cape Thatching Reed
A photo of Cape Thatching Reed
A photo of Cape Thatching Reed
A photo of Cape Thatching Reed
A photo of Cape Thatching Reed

Cape Thatching Reed Overview

Elegia tectorum, previously Chondropetalum tectorum, is a tufted reed belonging to the family of Cape reeds (restios) with cluster of seed heads on the tips. Some plants can reach up to 1.5m high and can grow in a variety of soil types, but prefers moist well-drained soils, but as it matures can handle more arid conditions. Planted en-mass it makes a stunning display when moving and swaying in the breeze. It makes a lovely addition to an indigenous garden when cobined with other fynbos and proteas. This species was previously known as Chondropetalum tectorum but recent DNA analyses showed that all the species of Chondropetalum actually belong in the genus Elegia. As a result, they are now known as species of Elegia. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Western Cape.

Common problems with Cape Thatching Reed

Relatively pest and disease free.

    Cape Thatching Reed Companion Plants

    Proteas, pincushions, ericas and other fynbos species

    How to harvest Cape Thatching Reed

    Harvesting thatching reeds occurs just as the new growth appears and reeds cut just above the new growth shoots (being careful not to damage the growth tips).

    How to propagate Cape Thatching Reed


    The seed is extremely small. Sow into seeding trays in Autumn. Place a layer of sand on top. Keep moist. Germination time is 3-8 weeks.

    Special features of Cape Thatching Reed

    Drought resistant

    Once established, it is fairly drought resistant.

    Wet sites

    Grows happily in bog and marsh areas.

    Other uses of Cape Thatching Reed

    It is used for thatching in S. Africa. In gardens it is a handsome 'architectural' plant for mixed borders or planted in gravel.


    Reeds are tradionally used in thatching roofs.

    Other uses

    Restios | Fynbos

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