T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Thamnochortus cinereus (Silver reed) Exotic

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Restionaceae
Genus: Thamnochortus
Species: T. cinereus
Binomial name: Thamnochortus cinereus
Common name: Silver reed

Thamnochortus cinereus is a species of medium to tall, tufted plant grass-like restio of the family Restionaceae. It grows in the coastal mountains of the southern part of South Africa.  
Members of the Restionaceae family do not have real leaves but the sterile branches at the nodes of the main stems look just like small, needle-like leaves. Thamnochortus cinereus’s foliage has a silvery tinge.
Thamnochortus cinereus stems fan out from its base forming a plant with a rounded shape. It can grow to a 1 m in height. 
All plants in the Restionaceae family have male and female flowers are on separate plants. The female flowers are small and insignificant. The male inflorescences grow higher than the foliage. Flowering occurs during May to September and the seeds ripen during December. The chestnut-brown female flowers are pollinated by pollen from the tall, silver-grey male flower tassels that sway above in the wind.

Photos below are a male plant.

Male inflorescences stem
 

Developing male inflorescence.


The silvery male inflorescences.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/