Identifying Pagodas - Mimetes
The genus Mimetes can readily be distinguished from all
other Proteaceae by the dense heads of flowers formed by
aggregating tubular, axillary, stalkless inflorescences
(technically a pseudanthia), each containing 3-22 (35) florets
and subtended by a leaf, into a large cylindrical inflorescence
(technically a conflorescence). The perianth segments are almost
entirely free and symmetrical. The style is hairless and is
adorned by a distinctively-shaped pollen presenter in each
species. Leaves are 1-3 toothed. The fruit is ovoid to cylindric,
usually hairless to minutely hairy, with a prominent elaiosome at
both ends joined by a thin ridge down one end.
The 14 Mimetes species are easy to identify and are
readily separated into four major groups.:
1. Involucral bracts surrounding pseudanthia (axillary
inflorescences) symmetrical, if leaves prominent between
pseudanthia then never enfolding them goto 2.
1' Involucral bracts surrounding pseudanthia (axillary
inflorescences) asymmetrical so that the lower lip of pseudanthia
tube is longer than the upper lip, each pseudanthia is partially
enfolded by the leaf above it goto Section CUCULLATUS
2. Perianth fused into a tube at base. Less than 20 florets
per inflorescence. goto 3
2' Perianth fused to form a tube, but free at both base and
tips. More than 25 florets per inflorescence. goto Section
3. Leaves between pseudanthia never conspicuous and shorter
than the pseudanthia tube, involucral bracts surrounding the
pseudanthia bright orange or yellow and solely responsible for
the colour display goto Section HIRTUS
3' Leaves between pseudanthia prominent and longer than
pseudanthia tube, leaves subtending pseudanthia either silver or
brightly coloured goto Section ARGENTEUS
Section CUCULLATUS: The Monk's
The Monk's Cowl Pagodas are characterized by the enlarged
subtending leaf clasping the pseudanthium below it, and the
asymmetrical pseudanthium tube which is longer below than above.
Mimetes cucullatus COMMON PAGODA ROOISTOMPIE
Multiple stemmed arising from a large subterranean rootstock.
Mimetes fimbrifolius TREE PAGODA MAANHAARSTOMPIE
A 2-5 m tall tree with a single trunk and thick corky bark.
Leaves oblong to elliptic, margins densely hairy. Pseudanthium
4-7 flowered, subtended and clasped by a reddish-yellow
Section CHRYSANTHUS: The Golden
The Golden Pagoda is a distinct species, not obviously related
to any other Pagoda species. It is readily distinguished by its
multiflowered pseudanthia bearing 35-35 flowers. The median
perianth tube with free tepals both at the base and tip are
diagnostic for the group.
Mimetes chrysanthus GOLDEN PAGODA
Pseudanthium 25-35 flowered. Perianth 24-28 mm long, free at base
and tip, with a 6-8 mm median tube, yellow.
Section ARGENTEUS: The Silver
The Silver Pagodas have the leaves subtending the pseudanthia
much larger and usually more brightly coloured than the
involucral bracts. The leaves are distinctly silver in all but
one species, the Limestone Pagoda, which has grey leaves.
Mimetes saxatilis LIMESTONE PAGODA STOMPIE
Leaves not silvery, becoming hairless with age. Pseudanthium
12-22 flowered, subtended by flat green leaf. Involucral bracts
conspicuous, yellow. Pollen presenter 4 mm long, ringed at style
junction, quadrangular-cylindric at base becoming ovoid acute
Mimetes splendidus SPLENDID PAGODA
Leaves silver haired. Pseudanthium 10-14 flowered, subtended by
silvery-pink flushed leaf. Involucral bracts ovate. Pollen
presenter 5-7 mm long, ringed at style junction, linear acute.
Mimetes argenteus SILVER PAGODA VAALSTOMPIE
Leaves silver haired, held at right angles to branches.
Conflorescence 100-120 mm diam. Pseudanthium 6-9 flowered,
subtended by a deep carmine to pale mauve leaf held perpendicular
to the stem. Pollen presenter 7-8 mm long, knee-bent at style
base, cylindric with terminal spur.
Mimetes arboreus ARBOREAL PAGODA
Large shrub, much branched. Leaves lanceolate, silver haired.
Pseudanthium 8-13 flowered, subtended by an ascending,
orange-pink flushed leaf. Pollen presenter 7-8 mm long, knee-bent
at base with style, cylindric, ending in a small recurved spur.
Mimetes hottentoticus MATCHSTICK PAGODA
Leaves oval, silvery. Pseudanthium 8-10 flowered, with a flat
subtending silver leaf. Involucral bracts lanceolate. Style 65-70
mm long, red. Pollen presenter, 4 mm long grooved at base ending
in a black cone.
Mimetes stokoei MACE PAGODA
Leaves ovate, silver. Pseudanthium 8-10 flowered, subtending
leaves golden yellow. Involucral bracts oval. Style 50-65 mm
long, yellow. Pollen presenter, 4 mm long grooved at base ending
in a black cone.
Section HIRTUS: The Tube Pagodas
The Tube Pagodas are distinguished by the involucral bracts
surrounding the pseudanthium being brightly coloured, and leaves
not having any display function in the conflorescence.
Mimetes hirtus MARSH PAGODA KREUPELBOOM
Leaves lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, 25-45 mm long.
Pseudanthium 9-14 flowered. Involucral bracts yellow with red
tips. Style 50-55 mm long, red. Pollen presenter with a prominent
ring at the junction, and a linear distal portion.
Mimetes pauciflorus THREE-FLOWERED PAGODA
Leaves oval, 25-40 mm long, 8-20 mm wide. Inflorescence with
40-120 densely aggregated, upward pointing, pseudanthia, with a
little ball of leaves (coma) above. Pseudanthia 3-4 flowered.
Involucral bracts 10-25 mm long, 5-8 mm wide, 4-5 in number.
Pollen presenter 3-4 mm long, linear filiform with a pointed apex
and slight ringed thickening a style junction, orange-red.
Mimetes palustris CRYPTIC PAGODA
A low suberect shrub. Leaves lanceolate-elliptic, 15-20 mm long,
5-10 mm wide, tightly clasping stem, densely shaggy haired.
Inflorescence 10-45 mm long, 30-50 mm wide, containing 5-12
pseudanthia, no coma. Pseudanthia 3-6 flowered. Style 30-35 mm
long. Pollen presenter 2 mm long, with style thickened below ring
at junction, linear with a pointed tip, yellow with a red flush.
Mimetes capitulatus CONICAL PAGODA
Low lateral branching stems with tall erect, unbranched flowering
stems. Leaves lanceolate to ovate, 20-35 mm long, 8-20 mm wide,
densely shaggy haired, tightly clasping stem. Inflorescence
60-100 mm long, 60-80 mm wide, with 10-13 pseudanthia, no coma.
Pollen presenter 5-7 mm long, with style thickened below
prominent ring at junction, linear with a rounded to conical