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Rhodocoma capensis (Cape Restio)

This is one of a group of related plants that are collectively known as the Restios from Cape Province in South Africa. Twenty years ago, briefly, they became trendy as was declared by the horticultural journos. We acquired 10 different species to experiment with and all but one died in their first winter in Sussex – but not this one which despite some pretty cold winters has flourished and never appears to have suffered any damage from cold winds or low temperatures.

They’re hard to describe but they’re certainly striking to look at and owe something to the grasses and rushes. They get quite big (8ft tall x 6ft wide), don’t spread but have perpendicular stems in the centre surrounded by floppier ones round the edge. They can be tidied up round the edge like the one in the photo with 5 year old Jack.

The tips of the stems are covered with very delicate flowers and seed heads. An exotic sight.

Propagated by seed.

Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Green

Find out more

Hardy anywhere in Britain below approximately 1000ft (300m)

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.