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Elegia fistulosa

   (Family: Restionaceae)
Afrikaans: Pypriet English: Hollow Reed  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 1m
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
pH: neutral
Flowering time EDIT
                x x x x
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Flower type
  Wind pollinated, bees
  Flower info
  Flower insignificant and almost hidden by the golden brown bracts. Male flowers in spikelets, 60–250 mm long. Female inflorescence interrupted or linear, 30–200 mm long.
  Leaf info EDIT
Fruit type EDIT
  Seed info EDIT
  Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a softer ovary wall. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth or wall tuberculate, 2.18 mm long, 1.1 mm diam., shape in side view elliptical, shape in top view triangular in cross section, brown. Elaiosome absent.
Description EDIT
A tall, grass-like plant, which is neat, tufted and upright, with hollow, slender reed-like stems up to 1 meter tall.
Growing EDIT
Easy to grow and is pest free.
Best planted in full sun, in very well drained soil and in a spot that has free air-circulation.

Can be grown in hot, dry areas, provided they are watered several times a week, but do not do well if planted too near a hot wall.

The plants do not like frost and will not survive if the roots are frozen.

Best propagated by seed and while it has a very low rate of germination, this is much improved by giving the seed a smoke treatment. This can be done by placing the seed trays in a small tent and pumping smoke into the tent, allowing the smoke to settle and then watering the seed trays, or by soaking the seed in a commercially available solution of smoke and hormones.

Once the seed has germinated, the plants grow fast and can produce inflorescences within a year.
Distribution EDIT
Widespread and common, occurring all along the southern coastal plateaux and mountain ranges in South Africa, from Malmesbury to Port Elizabeth.
History EDIT
It can be used as a perennial in a small garden or a courtyard, or as a group in a larger planting. It can also be grown in a large pot.

Both the male and female inflorescences are long lasting and can be used in flower arrangements.
Ecology EDIT
As with all other restios, Elegia fistulosa is wind pollinated, although at the height of the flowering season, bees do visit the male plants and collect the pollen.
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