Sunday, September 19, 2010

Leucadendron Silver Tree

Famed for its spectacular foliage, Leucadendron Argenteum or sometimes called "Cape Silver Tree" has wonderful large, broadly pointed green leaves covered in silver silken hairs.  These leaves create a vivid display as they shimmer in the wind.

What is Silver Tree's Secret?  

You don't know whether it is a male or a female until the day it flowers and shows off with large, pure silver egg-like cones (female) or yellow pollen surrounding small silver buds (male).  The Silver Tree relies on wind for dispersing its seeds instead of having to attract birds or other dispersers.  Each fruit looks like a small nut and is equipped with a "parachute".  Once the seed is freed by strong winds, it can travel a considerable distance thanks to its design.

Silver Tree branches are stunning when used in arrangements and its individual leaves are ideal in corsages and boutonnieres.   The leaves also retain their silver color when dried, and can be painted or even used as a book marker.

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