Cape Reeds or Restionaceae come in many forms, from 2m tall straight stems to the thoroughly confused little curly ‘cushion’ appropriately called Restio perplexus. Restios, as they are fondly known, differ from grasses in that they have no leaves and their stems are solid rather than hollow (think of bamboo as a typical grass). Restios grow in many different fynbos habitats, from riversides to arid mountains. But what they all have in common is that they define fynbos. If there are no restios, it’s not fynbos. For more examples of these iconic fynbos plants, do visit the restio display at the Hermanus Flower Festival 22-25 September.