According to Wikipedia Restionaceae likely originated more than 65 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period, when the southern continents were still part of Gondwana,
They have green, photosynthetic stems and leaves that have been reduced to sheaths. Their flowers are extremely small and in spikelets, which in turn make up the inflorescences. Male and female flowers are on separate plants and, like grasses, are wind-pollinated.
AND YET we are still having problems identifying them (well I am).

So I’m sharing this on iSpot - hope this won’t infringe copyright.

Restionaceae, H. J. Beentje, M.Sc., Ph.D., F.L.S… Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2005

Morphology General Habit
Evergreen rush-like plants, usually dioecious; stems (culms) erect, simple or branched, photosynthetic
Morphology Leaves
Leaves generally reduced to sheaths which are split to their base, usually with a small awn or mucro
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence sexually differentiated or the sexes similar, terminal, spicate or paniculate, much or little branched
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers small, wind-pollinated, regular; perianth of 2 whorls of 3 segments each, the segments similar or differentiated Flowers nearly always aggregated into spikelets, these surrounded at base by a spathaceous sheath, each flower in the axil of a bract, sessile or pedicellate
Female flowers with the ovary superior, with 1–3 uniovular locules and 1–3 styles; staminodes 3 or absent
Male flowers with three 1-celled dorsifix anthers, introrse with a longitudinal slit, and usually with vestigial female parts
sex Male
Male flowers with three 1-celled dorsifix anthers, introrse with a longitudinal slit, and usually with vestigial female parts
sex Female
Female flowers with the ovary superior, with 1–3 uniovular locules and 1–3 styles; staminodes 3 or absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit small, a 1–3-locular capsule or a 1-locular nut
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 1–3, with copious endosperm; embryo small

Please find my observations which I plan to link with the tag ‘myRestionaceae’

You quote the reasons why identification of restionaceous species is difficult - reduced leaves and flowers.
In Britain the equivalent group would be sedges - mistaken for grasses by beginners (does that happen for restios), and notoriously difficult to identify to species, though genera aren’t too difficult.

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I have messes of ‘restio’ observations from the Cape Peninsula that I would like to share. They have recently been reworked but still difficult to identify from photos in the wild. Genus RESTIO there are some 163 (146 enemic) species listed in my reverence
As of 2020, Kew’s Plants of the World Online lists the 48 genera in the family Restionaceae
I had a reference guide but needed more, and have forgotten all that I knew at the time.
Just plodding on and on

Do you have that photo guide to loads of Restios where they scanned the various parts of the plant at high resolution and printed them in the guide along with a description?

If you are posting Restos for us to agree, and they are as difficult as they sound from the above comments, then you may need to give details of the relevant ID details, by photo or text, and the reference work your using so we can read & check ourselves.

Looking forward to seeing them.

Restios of the Fynbos - Els Dorrat-Haaksma - Google Books this is the restio book I mentioned. You can look inside on google to see the detailed images.

Is this the one? Restios of the Fynbos

Front Cover

Els Dorrat Haaksma Hans Peter Linder
Struik Nature, 2012.
Then yes, but gave it to a friend when I left CT. I struggled with it and didn’t bother to get the next one.
I have some pics, taken at Silvermine, when we went out with Els - really difficult for me and I thought Lichens were a challenge!!

This is a rather nice observation and I think correct. One needs to find them at the right season to get close-ups of the inflorescenses (sp?)

Then the same day I found one with the sterile culms - but with so many options I may still be mistaken.

You may find this a nice intro to RESTIOS : Remembering that Restios is also a genus.

BOTTOM line I also had a short-list of fynbos species for the Cape Peninsula compiled by Deon Kesting which narrows things down a bit.
Now the latest I have is RESTIONACEAE
by H.P. Linder in STRELITZIA 29 (2012) starting at
page 227 which is really useful.

I need to look at the Google site that Mike mentions.

Any advice would be most welcome - especially suggestions on how to share them so that they may be easily retrieved.
PS Thanks to all four your interest - does help

Testing, testing
Adding more links for verification and a tag to find other Elegia
Remember the date tag links to my other observations on the same day so eventually there may be more restios added on the days when we went out looking for restios,

From my (very limited) experience with Restios they look as if they should not be too difficult to identify, some are very big, others small and have a range of characters to work with. However when it comes to it some are not to bad but others are very tricky requiring all parts of the plant including seeds for ID.

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