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Leucospermum reflexum var. luteum #7

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Proteaceae - Western Cape Province, South Africa

Rocket Pincushion; Yellow Rocket Pincushion


Shown: Mature inflorescence with oldest flowers assuming the reflexed position--from which, the specific epithet is derived


"Leucospermum reflexum is a rounded, silvery grey-leaved shrub up to 4 m tall with either yellow (var. lutea) or deep orange to crimson (var. reflexum) flower heads which flower from spring to midsummer in the southern hemisphere (August to December). The more or less elliptic, simple leaves are covered with dense grey hairs. They are about 20-55 x 5-13 mm, with 2-3 glandular teeth at the tip. The rounded flower heads occur at the ends of the branches and are between 80-100 mm across.


"Each flower is tube-like and made up of velvety floral parts called the perianth segments on which the anthers are placed. These surround the long style which escapes from the tube to form the 'pin' and the perianths then curl away from it. Young flowers are curved to start with, and then bend back toward the stem as they mature. The common name of rocket pincushion is very apt because these downward bent styles look like the fiery tail of a rocket trailing behind it. For the same reason, the Afrikaans name perdekop is a good one as the mature flower head looks like a horse's head with its mane blowing back in the wind." (


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Photographed in U.C. Botanical Garden at Berkeley - Berkeley, California


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Taken on May 20, 2009