Elegia elephantina - Large Cape Rush

Large Cape Rush

An elegant, architectural plant from South Africa’s Cape Province, Elegia elephantina is a tall, clump-forming, rush-like perennial in the Restio family, which makes a handsome, robust specimen plant with an arching habit. The deep green stems are jointed, looking slightly zig-zag, with maroon sheaths at the joints which drop off to leave brown banding on the stem. The leaves are long, narrow, and deep brownish-green. In late spring and summer the plant carries long, brown spikelets (flowers) above the leaves. One of the hardiest of the Cape rushes, it is salt-tolerant and wind-tolerant once established, but needs regular watering in the growing season without making the soil constantly wet. Not for very cold areas. Large Cape rush holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Site: Tolerates some exposure, including coastal exposure; needs a warm site
Soil: Any well-drained soil, preferably nutrient-poor
Position: Full sun
Season of interest: Late spring to summer
Hardiness: Hardy to -7 to -8ºC
Height: 5-6’ (1.5-1.6m) Spread: 4’ (1.2m) eventually

Photos by Kenraiz, cropped, and licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Type | Size: Pot | 3L
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