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Thatching reed

Thamnochortus spicigerus

Duine riet (Afr.), Dekriet (Afr.)

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Decorative South African restio (indigenous reed) often used for thatching. Makes a lovely feature in the garden with the dark brown spikelets that add an excellent contrast in a garden. Good for low maintenance gardens.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Winter
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Once ripe, the bracts open and the seeds readily fall out, and are dispersed by wind.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in autumn, when the days are still warm, between 20–25°C and the nights are cool, between 8–10°C. Seeds require smoke treatment in a smoke tent for 30 minutes.
Division
Divide just before the crop of the new shoot emerges from the ground, in early or midwinter.

Special features

Pot plant
Particularly well suited to specimen container gardening.
Hedge plant
Make a beautiful lower hedge screen.

Geography

Origin
Western Cape, South Africa
Natural climate
Medditerranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Landscape
The duine riet has a good horticultural potential as a landscape plant for low maintenance gardens and fynbos gardens.
Building
Thamnochortus spicigerus is used as an excellent thatching material.
Floristry
Flowers are used as cut flowers and they are long lasting.

Personality

Family
Restionaceae
Flower colour
, Burgandy
Scent
None

Problems

It is subject to damping off as seedlings, if it is over watered, or if there is little or no air movement.
Damping off
Damping off
Various spp.

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