Saturday, February 22, 2020
Where the Leucospermum Grow
Fields of leucospermum or more commonly called “pincushions” sway in the breeze blowing through the hills, creating a vibrant welcome mat for those who venture up into Rainbow Crest. These vibrant red, orange, peach, yellow and bi-colored flowering heads are formed mainly with long, sprout-like structures that end in a globular knob called a pollen presenter. Together, the mass of styles look a lot like pins bristling from a “pincushion”, a similarity that has given rise to the popular name for this genus.
Leucospermum comprises some forty-eight species, of which all but three are endemic to South Africa’s Cape Province. Flowering time is generally winter through late spring. Unlike flowers of the genus Protea, which rely on their showy bracts for visual appeal, leucospermum put all their art into the colors of the flowers themselves as well as the flowing shape of each curving component. These fanciful blooms atop sturdy stems create colorful focal points not only in the field but when displayed in floral designs.