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Pincushion

Leucospermum cordifolium

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It is a popular garden plant as well as a much-used cut flower. It is however on the red list of South African Plants as 'Near Threatened' as a result of habitat loss due to alien plant invasion and agriculture as well as uncontrolled picking of flowers, so plant your own. The shrubs do not grow very old because they are prone to Phytophera disease or in the natural habitat will often be burnt down.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring, Winter

Harvesting

Cut these lovely cutflowers as needed. Bag the seedheads to capture ripening seed, but allow seedheads to dry on the motherplant.

Propagation

Cuttings
The cuttings should be semi-hardwood, 6-10 cm long, of the current season's growth. The cuttings should be dipped in a rooting hormone solution and placed in a warm growing environment.
Seed
Difficult to propagate from seed as many steps are involved-in nature they depend on veldfire to sprout seed. Sowing time best in summer, always use fresh seed. Germination is about 3-4 weeks.

Special features

Attracts birds
Attracts nectar-loving birds such as sunbirds.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts insects like ants, bees and butterflies.
Drought resistant
Known to grow in poor, dry soil with little rainfall.

Geography

Origin
Kogelberg to Bredasdorp in the Western Cape, South Africa.
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Ornamental
Pincushions make beautiful garden specimens with their bright colours in late winter and early spring.

Personality

Family
Proteaceae
Flower colour
, Red, Orange, Yellow
Scent
None

Problems

They are very sensitive to the fungal disease Phytophthora cinnamomeum.
Root Rot
Root Rot
Phytophthora spp.

Companion plants

Plant with protea and fynbos species.
King Protea
King Protea
Protea cynaroides

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