Identifying Silkypuffs - Diastella
The genus Diastella can easily confused with the smaller Leucospermum species. Mat-like rarely grow taller than one meter. Their leaves are linear to oval, usually without teeth. Inflorescences are small, globose, terminal (or both terminal and axillary) capitula, 10-20 mm in diam.. One to three rows of papery or membranous bracts extend to or beyond the florets, enveloping the inflorescence at base. The perianth is 6-10 mm long, and subtended by a linear to filiform floral bract, covered with silky hairs. All four perianth segments are free almost to the base. Hypogynous scales are usually absent. Pollen presenter linear acute. Fruit is a typical Leucospermum fruit.
1. Hypogynous scales present, leaves usually with apical teeth, inflorescences both terminal and axillary, perianth segments unequal goto section HYPOGYNAE
1' Hypogynous scales absent, leaves simple without apical teeth, inflorescences exclusively terminal, perianth segments always equal goto section DIASTELLA
Northern Silkypuffs are the primitive Diastella species most resembling Leucospermum. They are characterized among Diastella chiefly by the presence of hypogynous scales.
Diastella parilis WORCESTER SILKYPUFF
Diastella myrtifolia TULBAGH SILKYPUFF
The Southern Silkypuffs differ from the Northern Silkypuffs in not having hypogynous scales. They are therefore probably unable to secrete nectar. They also differ more markedly from Leucospermum than do the Northern Silkypuffs in having only terminal inflorescences.
Diastella divaricata divaricata PENINSULA SILKYPUFF
Diastella divaricata montana MOUNTAIN SILKYPUFF
Diastella fraterna PALMIET SILKYPUFF
Diastella thymelaeoides thymelaeoides KOGELBERG
Diastella thymelaeoides meridiana HANGKLIP SILKYPUFF
Diastella proteoides FLATS
Diastella buekii FRANSHOEK SILKYPUFF