San Marcos Growers LogoSan Marcos Growers
New User
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
Nursery Closure
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search Plant Name
Detail Search Avanced Search Go Button
Search by size, origins,
details, cultural needs
Website Search Search Website GO button
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings


  for JULY

Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
 Weather Station

Products > Thamnochortus insignis
Thamnochortus insignis - Thatching Reed
Image of Thamnochortus insignis
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Restionaceae (Restios)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Brown
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Thamnochortus insignis (Thatching Reed) - This tall restio grows to 4 to 6 feet tall with older stems that arch over to create a mass of foliage 6-9 feet in diameter. Plant in full sun and give it room to grow. It is a very durable plant that will tolerate drought (once established), coastal seaside conditions and moderate frost; we have even received a report from a gardener growing it in Redding California where it has tolerated temperatures as low as 15F. Like most restios it prefers acidic soil but it will grow in most any soil as long as it drains fairly well. When grown from seed the young first culms are small, finely divided, and curly looking; the tall, single culms appear when the seedlings are nearly a year old. Male and female plants are separate and very similar when they are not flowering which occurs in mid-summer (July-August) and female plants produce large amounts of seed from October-November. The plants are ornamental year-round but particularly attractive a couple months prior to flowering through several months after producing seed. Like Chondropetalum this plant is used for roof thatching and because of its long culms is actually the most common species used for this purpose. The culms reportedly can be harvested every five years and last up to 30 years on a typical roof and even longer in drier areas. Thamnochortus insignis comes from the coastal forelands from Bredasdorp to Riversdale, in South Africa. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words, 'thamno' meaning "bush" and 'chortus' meaning "grass" in reference to the bushy nature of these grass-like plants. The specific epithet is Latin meaning " remarkable", "noted", "distinguished" or "extraordinary". We have grown this great plant since first getting seed of it from Silverhill Seeds of South Africa in 2004. 

This information about Thamnochortus insignis displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.