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Leucospermum (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)
Leucospermum (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)

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Zone
Zones 15-17, 21-24, H1
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Leucospermum cordifolium

Nodding Pincushion
Proteaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs, Flowers

LEUCOSPERMUM

Like proteas, pincushions are difficult to grow, but the extra effort is rewarded with spectacular clusters of many long, slender tubular flowers in a large, thistlelike head. These South African natives produce stunning cut flowers that last for a month in water. Leaves are narrow, stalkless ovals, crowded along stems. Bloom peaks in late winter and early spring, but can start earlier and last up to 6 months in mild winters. Well-established plants can take several degrees of frost; side buds will produce flowers even if main flower buds freeze. Prune only to shape or remove dead flowers. For cultural information, see Protea.

Leucospermum cordifolium

Compact habit to 4 ft. tall and wide. Medium green leaves. Best species for cut flowers: blossom clusters are 4 in. across, with individual tube-shaped, yellow-tipped coral flowers that curve gracefully outward, then inward again. ‘Flame Giant’ has orange inflorescences, while ‘Yellow Bird’ has yellow ones.

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