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IDM Cape Peninsula - Pincushions - Leucospermum

The Pincushions are a well known genus of the Protea Family. Their popularity can be evidenced from the large numbers of The Pincushion - Leucspermum cordifolium and Rocket Pincushion - Leucospermum reflexum, planted to beautify our nature reserves. These aliens, despite their beauty, should be treated with the same disdain afforded the alien Hakeas and Wattles - remove them! The road to the Silvermine reservoir (what stunning Ls cordifolium aliens) and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve information centre (Ld linifolium) are classical cases of misguided planting of indigenous aliens! Don't be fooled - they do not belong here!

The two subspecies of the Tree Pincushion - Leucospermum conocarpodendron are still bothering some atlassers.

It is apparent that the difference between the two subspecies is not simple!

  1. Subspecies viridum has hairless leaves (or if hairy then with only long straight hairs).
  2. Subspecies conocarpodendron has leaves with a mat of fine curly hairs, hence the grey colour.

Both subspecies have hairy young leaves: please be careful during the late spring flush of new growth Please, use mature leaves to distinguish the subspecies.

A large hybrid population is documented from Little Lion's Head, SE of Mount Rhodes: but these have not yet been atlassed.

It does not help to leave the subspecies code blank - we have some l6 records which have not been assigned a subspecies code - could these please be followed up.

Also please note the difference between the Tree Pincushion and the Tree Pagoda.

  • Ls cono is robust tree with multi-glanded (or toothed) leaves, usually hairless around the margin. It bears Pincushion-type flowerheads with robust yellow "pins". New growth is greyish in colour.
  • Mi fimb is a robust tree with leaves having 3-glands at the tip and furry margins around the leaves. It bears many pink Pagoda-type flowerheads arranged in spirals beneath the leaves on the branch tips. New growth is pink-red in colour.

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