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Products > Restio festuciformis
Restio festuciformis - Green Grass Reed

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Restio festuciformis
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Restionaceae (Restios)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Yellow/Chartreuse Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Golden
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [R. festucaeformis]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Restio festuciformis (Green Grass Reed) - A very ornamental small restio that forms tufts to only 12 to 18 inches tall with fine textured bright green slightly branching stems that move about, even in a gentle breeze. When in flower, typically in late winter to early spring, both the very similar male and female flowering plants have feathery golden-brown bracts and stems and leaves that turn a golden green; female plants bear small brown seed heads that ripen in summer. Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and irrigate regularly. Hardiness is not well know for this species but it has not suffered at temperatures down to 26 F in our garden and we have heard from a gardener in Portola Valley who told us it tolerated 15 F in their garden. New growth flushes from the center and the plant will be more attractive with an annual removal of the previous year's growth. In its native habitat it is widespread in damp areas in the lowlands and the foothills of the mountains of the Western Cape below 2,500 feet where it is noted as being less showy than in cultivation. In the wild it may be longer living and rejuvenated by wild fires, while vigorously growing plants in the garden may only live 2 to 4 years before needing replacement. A great plant for planting in mass and also nice as an accent plant or in a container. Restio festuciformis looks more grass-like than most restios - hence the name festucifomis meaning "like a fescue". We have used the name "Green Grass Reed" as a common name as it is a loose English translation of the Afrikaner name "Groengrasriet". Fittingly we first saw this plant in 2005 growing in a large pot in grassman John Greenlee's garden and have been enamored with it ever since - unfortunately it hasn't performed that well in our nursery or planted out in our garden so we have discontinued growing it. 

This information about Restio festuciformis 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.