Boat Thatching Grass
Boat Thatching Grass


2 000 - 4 000 mm tall

250 - 400 mm long

4 - 5 mm long

Leaf blade:
600 mm long, 6 - 20 mm wide


Handsome, with creeping rhizome and tall Stems occasionally reaching 3—4 m high. Leaves flat, green. 
Inflorescence much branched, up to 60 cm long, conspicuously coloured owing to red-brown or purple 
boat-shaped spathes which are only two or three times as long as broad. H. Cymbaria is commonly mistaken 
for H. variabilis and H. Umbrosa which are both closely related and are found in the same habitat. 
The spathes of both these species are longer than H. Cymbaria and are not as brightly colored.
Flowers from Nov - Jun 
Grows in high altitude regions with high rainfall. Found on the edge of forests, in road reserves, and open slopes.
When it grows in low altitude, it is found in shade near water.
Throughout tropical Africa as well as Comores and Madagascar.
Palatable grazing in early season but becomes too hard after the flowering stage.

Image Credits:
Swaziland's Flora Database
Malolotja Nature Reserve Grasses Checklist
K Braun


Hyparrhenia Cymbaria