Friday, July 17, 2009

Elegia capensis, Fountain Rush

Elegia capensis
  Fountain Rush
This is a striking foliage plant from South Africa which forms a large clump to about 3 metres tall. It naturally grows close to streams in Winter rainfall areas which dry out in Summer, so technically it could be included with water plants. Trouble is, in areas with summer rainfall it can rot and die back especially under humid coastal conditions. This was the case when I grew it. It is probably better suited to places with a cool temperate or Mediterranean climate or, if growing on the coast, it needs to be placed in a raised garden bed. It is an excellent contrast plant with spiky or stiff foliaged plants.The stems also make wonderful cut flowers when they produce the red-brown arching tassel flower in Spring.
2017 update: Have not seen it available in the nursery trade for a number of years.

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