Taisha is the author of today’s entry. She writes:
Here is a short entry to accompany a photograph of Elegia fenestrata by the late James Gaither (aka J.G. in S.F.@Flickr). Many thanks to those who continue to maintain his Flickr page and permit ongoing access to sharing his beautiful photos via Botany Photo of the Day!
Elegia fenestrata is a member of the Restionaceae, which is a graminoid (grass-like) family. Restiads or restios are mainly dioecious, all wind-pollinated, and have spikelets forming a terminal inflorescence. The members of this Southern Hemisphere family are mainly found in southern Africa and Australia, with the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa being the centre of diversity. Here, for example, the genus Elegia is represented with about 48 species.
Native to the Western Cape province of South Africa, Elegia fenestrata is a coastal species. Habitat-wise, specimen records are reportedly all from marshy areas or the banks of small streams. The specific epithet fenestrata is from the Latin fenestratus, meaning a “window”. As noted by the author of the e-monocot Restionaceae pages (first link to species name in paragraph above), the reason for applying this epithet to the species is not known.
A few of years ago, Jackie Chambers wrote an informative entry on another member of the genus, Elegia capensis, accompanied by two of her photos from Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. I recommend reading Jackie’s entry to find out more about dioecy, pollination, and etymology with respect to the genus!