Ischyrolepis subverticillata

Common Name:
Broom restio
Plant Type:
Restionaceae (The Restio Family)
Geographic Origin:
South and Southern Africa
California Native?:
Plant Size:
5 feet+
Landscape/Garden Uses:
Mixed plantings
Flowering Season:
Summer and fall
Flower Color:
Not applicable
Sun or light shade
Most soils
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 20-25 degrees F.
This is a dramatic perennial of the restio alliance, much like a giant horsetail in appearance. It forms broad, thick clumps with individual stems rising as much as 8 feet. Spaced along them are whorls of many spreading, wiry, dark green branchlets, with only narrow brown bracts for leaves. The plants are of separate sexes, carrying clusters of small brown flowers at the tips of the upper branchlets in summer and fall. The pollen-bearing flowers of the male plants are borne in larger, branched clusters which suggest those of a gigantic carex. Flowers of the female plants are produced in very short, few-flowered clusters. This is an elegant plant for poolside, shade gardens and large tubs. The stems make elegant additions, in or out of flower, to large floral arrangements. It thrives in sun or shade near the coast, in well drained, non-alkaline soil, with moderate to regular watering. Hardy to 20-25 degrees F.