The restios, a name shortened from their plant family name Restionaceae, are as a group attractive grass or bamboo-like plants that have upright durable culms often topped by feathery foliage that sways gracefully in the wind. Most in cultivation are from South Africa but they do elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, including many that come from western and southern Australia and others from New Zealand, South America and Southeast Asia - based on fossil evidence the family originated more during the Late Cretaceous period, when the southern continents were still part of Gondwana landmass.
The restios in cultivation are generally durable garden subjects that can be used as individual specimens or in mass plantings. Like bamboo, there are species that are "runners", spreading rapidly on rhizomes, and "clumpers" that stay more contained, and most of the ones cultivated are in this latter group or are plants that at least walk more than they run. The young plants usually have a very different look with intricately branched masses of fine foliage that as the plant matures changes into a more refined clump of unbranched reed-like culms. All of the cultivated species are dioecious, meaning there are separate male and female plants, which can look quite different from each other. Since most plants are seed grown and often sold before maturity the sex of the plant is often not known when the plants are sold.
We grow or have grown the following Restios:
Cannomois grandis [C. virgata, Hort.]
Cannomois grandis '"Large Seed Form"
Restio festuciformis- no longer in production
Rhodocoma fruticosa- no longer in production
The Chondropetalum Page
Search the database for Restionaceae