Leucadendron strobilinum

(L.) Druce

Family :   Proteaceae 
Common name : Peninsula conebush

Red leaf tips

Leucadendron strobilinum is an eye-catching shrub that is ideal for display in a fynbos garden.

Description
Leucadendron strobilinum is a large, single-stemmed shrub that branches from the base. It grows up to 2.6 m tall. The leaves are dark green and oval. The leaf tips are red and recurved with a fine point. The fruiting cones are ovoid and hairless and contain flat, winged seeds. It flowers from September–October.

Cones on female plant

Conservation status
It is listed as Near Threatened on the Red List of South African plants.

Distribution and habitat
 
It occurs on the Cape Peninsula, and the distribution ranges from Table Mountain to Kommetjie. It grows on damp, rocky slopes.

Derivation of name and historical aspects
The word Leucadendron is derived from the Greek word  leucos, meaning white, and  dendron, meaning a tree, referring to the silver tree,  Leucadendron argenteum. Strobilinum comes from the Greek strobilos (cone) and is a reference to the resemblance of this plant's cones to pine cones.

Ecology
The plants regenerate from seed. The seeds are stored in the cones on female plants from which they are released after fire. The seeds are dispersed by wind. Leucadendron strobilinum has plants of separate sexes, the male and female flowers occur on separate plants. Flowers are pollinated by small beetles.

Female plant

Growing  Leucadendendron strobilinum

Leucadendron strobilinum  can be grown from seed or cuttings. Sow seeds in autumn in a well-drained medium. Press the seeds into the surface and cover with a thin layer of river sand. Keep the seeds moist. Germination occurs after about 3–4 weeks. After the first set of leaves has developed, the seedlings can be transplanted into a well-drained medium.

To propagate from cuttings use tip cuttings. Remove the leaves from the bottom of the cutting, apply a rooting hormone and place in a well-drained rooting medium of bark and polystyrene . Keep cuttings moist, not wet. Rooting takes about 6 weeks. Harden off for 3 weeks and transplant into individual containers filled with well-draining, acidic soil. Keep root disturbance to a minimum, as the plants are susceptible to Phytophthora, a root pathogen. The plants can be used as a filler in a fynbos garden.

References and further reading

  • Goldblatt, P. & Manning, J. 2000. Cape plants. A conspectus of the Cape flora of South Africa.  Strelitzia  9. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Missouri.
  • Leistner, O.A. (ed.). 2000. Seed plants of southern Africa : families and genera.  Strelitzia  10. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Rebelo, A.G. 1995.  A field guide to the proteas of southern Africa,  edn 2. Fernwood Press, Vlaeberg.
  • Website:  Protea Atlas Project.  http://protea.worldonline.co.za.

 

If you enjoyed this webpage, please record your vote.

Excellent - I learnt a lot
Good - I learnt something new

Author

Olivia Tyambetyu
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
January 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


To find out if SANBI has seed of this or other SA species, please email our seedroom.
This page forms part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute's plant information website www.plantzafrica.com.


SANBI Home