UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Chondropetalum tectorum

Pronunciation
kon-dro-PET-al-lum tek-TOR-um
Common Name
Cape Rush
Plant Type
Grass
Mature Size
4-6 ft. tall and wide
Water Requirements
Low: water every three weeks until the root ball is wet
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full to half sun
Flower Color
Tan brown bracts
Wildlife
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

Chondropetalum is a low water plant from South Africa that has a nice reed-like look. In the Palo Alto Demonstration Garden we've used it on the edge of a dry creek bed. Many garden designers favorite it as a specimen for its strong architectural lines. It is often use in modern designs and in pots as the "thriller".

Overwatering the plant will make it floppy. We carefully remove old stems to highlight the new growth. Chondropetalum can also be sheared to ground just as new sprouts start to show.

We also tried planting Juncus, a similar looking plant, but found it did not do well with once every three weeks watering.

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