Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Leucospermum - Pincushions

Leucospermum are some of the most popular members of the Proteaceae family and easily recognized by their flower-heads with long, conspicuous styles, each one thickened at its apex to form a pollen presenter. Together, the mass of styles look like pins bristling from a pincushion, a similarity that has given rise to the popular name for these Proteas. So appropriate is the name “Pincushion Protea” that it has in fact replaced the original South African name of “Luisies” which refers to the grayish-white, rounded seeds found crumpled in the dried flower-heads, resembling insects in tangled in the fur of an animal.

Leucospermums are not only popular for their beautiful flowering heads, but the plants are also easily cultivated and make wonderful garden shrubs. They are fast growing and can produce a fabulous display of yellow, orange or red blooms for years when grow under the right conditions.

Did you know that Pincushions flower is the spring to suit the insects?  The seeds are mature in the summer and are released when the ants are most active and likely to disperse them.

There are currently over 48 varieties of Leucospermum available throughout the world, a number that will continue to grow as new hybrids are created and marketed.

Pincushion Tango Plants

Pincushion Flame Giant

Pincushion Hawaii Gold

Pincushion Tango

Pincusion Erubescens

Pincushion Starlight

Pincushion Sunkist