Grasses and reeds of Fernkloof Nature Reserve.
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The sheets of tawny gold and brown which cover the mountainsides are called Cape reeds, restios or more commonly, biesies and dekriet. They are all members of the family Restionaceae, which form one of the most important components of the South African fynbos.

Of the 480 species globally, mainly in the southern hemisphere countries, 330 are found in the Cape Floral Kingdom. These comprise about nineteen genera, fifteen of which are found in the Fernkloof area.

The common names again speak for themselves. The elegias are called ‘Golden tops’, the staberohas ‘Brown bells’, the hypodiscus ‘Hedgehogs’ and chondropetalum ‘Sorghum seed’/

For identication of genera and species certain botanical rules should be followed:

Firstly, the stem is known as a culm. To establish the difference between grasses, sedges and restios, take note that inflorescences of grasses are at the top of the culm, while in sedges and restios they are not. Culms of grasses are hollow, while mostly solid in sedges and restios. Grasses and sedges sport both leaf blades and leaf sheaths, while restios have only sheaths, either persistent or ones that drop off.

Similarly, in the species and genera of the Restionaceae family, culms can be branched or unbranched, sheaths persistent or ‘drop-offs’. Inflorescences vary .

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  - Botanical name - Chondropetalum deustum - Family - Restionaceae  367  Giant Millet Reed - Botanical name - Chondropetalum mucronatum - Family - Restionaceae  370  Little Golden Curls - Botanical name - Elegia filacea - Family - Restionaceae  476   - Botanical name - Elegia persistens - Family - Restionaceae  479   - Botanical name - Mastersiella digitata - Family - Restionaceae  736
  - Botanical name - Restio egregius - Family - Restionaceae  916   - Botanical name - Restio hyalinus - Family - Restionaceae  332  Bergpalmiet - Botanical name - Tetraria thermalis - Family - Cyperaceae  1026  Jakkalsstert - Botanical name - Thamnochortus lucens - Family - Restionaceae  1031




           Hermanus - Botanical Society - Botaniese Vereniging


This website was last updated on
2017 / 3 / 23