Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pincushion, Leucospermum

Leucospermum glabrum x conocarpodendron 'Veld Fire'

South Africa is one of the most botanically interesting places on earth!  I wish I could say I have been there, but maybe this is the next best thing -- the South Africa section of the San Francisco Botanical Garden.  I took these photos while on vacation there this summer.

Yesterday I found out what I had photographed while reading this post at Far Out Flora and some of the comments their readers had left.  How handy!

When I hear pincushion flower, I think of Scabiosa, but the name suits this flower better, doesn't it?  Those are some pins!  The flowers are 4 - 6 inches across; the plant can reach 6 x 6 feet.  Birds and insects love them in South Africa.  I'm not sure if American birds pay any attention to them.  Exotics aren't always recognizable to native wildlife.

Have any of you seen this plant in North Carolina (or eastern US)?   I think it would make a beautiful container plant.

Some other South African plants you might know:
Scented geranium (Pelargonium)
Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus)
Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia)
Cape Leadwort (Plumbago)
Asparagus fern  (Asparagus)
Naked Lily (Amaryllis)