Limestone Pincushion - Leucospermum truncatum
The Limestone Pincushion belongs to a south coast group, known as the Widetube Pincushions on account of a swelling at the tip of the flower tube. This tube stores the nectar, which attracts the Sugarbirds and Sunbirds to feed on the flowers. Whereas the Stillbay Pincushion - which forms the spectacular wild flower displays south of Riversdale in spring - occurs on neutral sands, the Limestone Pincushion occurs on solid limestone. The other species in the section live on other soil types. The Limestone Pincushion occurs from the Vermaaklikheid to Hermanus, wherever there are limestone outcrops. It flowers from September to January, producing pale yellow flowers that turn orange as they grow old. Like most Pincushions it drops its seeds in summer. The ants carry the seeds into their nests where they are safe from fire and rodents. After a fire, the seeds germinate after the winter rains. The developing seedling must get its root deep down to the water table before the summer drought. Proteas must tap this water table, because they have the bizarre habit of producing their new leaves in the heat of our dry summers. No other Fynbos plants do this. Help us to discover and solve the mysteries of Fynbos. Become a Fynbos detective. Join the Protea Atlas Project.