Monocots are a sub-group of flowering plants that share the characteristic of having a single embryonic leaf (or seed leaf). This large group of plants include about 60 000 species around the world. Many of the plants used both historically and presently in the Garden Route, for food, medicine and shelter, come from the monocot family. These include thatching reeds and medicinal plants such as Rooikanol and African Potato. Many well-loved indigenous garden plants such as Watsonia and Dietes species are also found in the monocot group.
This unique bed acts as a display of monocots that are found naturally in the Southern Cape. The Monocot Display Bed is composed predominantly of plant species from the Restionaceae family, which have historically been used for thatching. A selection of other interesting monocot plant species can be found nestled among the elegant restios. Shocking yellow Wachendorfia thyrsiflora interspersed with the delicate white and blue hues of Dietes iridioides mingle with the contrasting colours of the tall, stark restios; a truly eye-catching display in the spring. In addition to this spectacular show, the Monocot Display Bed also plays an important role in the Garden Route Botanical Garden’s educational program, aimed at the preservation and empowerment of indigenous cultural customs.