At Swallows Nest Farm, we grow one of the most beautiful foliage plants of the proteaceae family. It's commonly named the Silver Tree, but its actually a Leucadendron with the proper name of Leucadendron Argenteum. (Just Latin for silver, really!) It really does look spectacular at this time of year, and provides the most beautiful soft textured foliage with a silvery green colour that perfectly compliments the other proteas flowering at the same time.
The Silver Tree does actually grow to small tree proportions, but if it is picked regularly, like it is in the cut flower trade, it remains at a reachable height. Some of our trees have been unpruned for a while and we were so excited to find that the female trees began to produce the most spectacular cones. They begin as a soft silvery green, like the leaves, but look like they are made of metal. When they dry, you end up with a beautifully structured cone, about the size of a tennis ball, on the end of a long stem. They make a great statement in a vase, as a dried flower.
The bark of the Silver Tree is unusual too. In their native South Africa, they were at one stage used as a firewood tree, because they grow quickly and burn well. It's unusual wood - quite light, but the bark! I think it looks like elephant skin!
It's a remarkable tree, and we love growing it!