I loved this book – but I had three years of botany, so I was able to understand at least some of it. Still, don’t let that put you off. Although it’s a highly technical identification guide, it also contains notes on the biology conservation and propagation of these fascinating grass-like plants.

And while restios do grow in Australia (about 150 species), New Zealand (four), South America, and South East Asia (just one each), it’s only in South Africa (Africa has about 357 species) that they totally dominate the vegetation in the areas in which they thrive.

It’s worth knowing more about them because they’re often useful garden plants – they’re usually water-efficient, and almost always striking in their appearance – and because understanding their ecology is key to understanding the ecology of the fynbos as a whole (most laypeople will probably find the chapters which introduce the restios to be the most interesting and valuable).

If you own a guest house anywhere in or near the fynbos – you’ll want this one in your guest library.

Restios of the Fynbos by Els Dorrat-Haaksma and H Peter Linder is published in softcover and ebook by Struik Nature, and it’s available at the BarefootBookshop.

Buy it in softcover here 

Buy the Ebook here