Family: Proteaceae
Common Name: Pincushion

Grown for their showy, red, orange or yellow flower heads, these woody, evergreen shrubs also bear smooth, pale-coloured fruits. This South African genus of around 40 species is related to Leucadendron. Some species are grown for the cut flower trade because of their good vase life.


Not all of these are available outside their country of origin.

L. bolusi, bolus pin-cushion, reaches about 2 m (6 ft) high, with dense, short, leathery leaves and flower heads borne in terminal clusters. Consisting of many prominent, orange stamens, the flower heads grow to around 10 cm (4 in) in diameter.

L. cordifolium is a shrub which grows to 2 m (6 ft) high and, in good conditions, 2-3 m (6-10 ft) wide. It flowers over a long period, from early spring through to midsummer. The large flower heads may be orange, scarlet or yellow. This species is probably the most com­monly cultivated for the cut flower market.

L. reflexum, rocket pincushion, has small, gray, leathery leaves and large, deep red flower heads, tipped in yellow. It grows up to 4 m (13 ft) high.

L. tottum, firewheel pinchusion, grows 60 cm (24 in) tall, with spiky, dotne­shaped, red or red-pink flower heads from mid-spring to late summer.


In frost-prone climates, grow in a cool to intermediate conservatory or green-house, in pots of acid, soil-based potting com­post, to which has been added extra grit and peat. Outdoors grow in well-drained, acid soil low in phosphorus, in a warm sunny position. Ensure maximum light. Propagate from semi-ripe cuttings in summer with basal warmth.


Warmer parts of zone 10 and above.

Leucopogon      Leucothoe