Leucadendron Argenteum, commonly known as the Silver Tree, is grown for its luscious silky foliage. It's really difficult to capture in a photo just how luminous and silky the leaves are. They are really special. But my mature Silver Tree specimens have been producing something extra special - these gorgeous silvery orbs!
Leucadendron Argenteum, like all leucadendrons, are dioecious, meaning that the male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. The male plants produce flowers at the end of the stems or branches that have a gorgeous perfume. But the female flowers go on to produce these amazing cones. They are silvery and velvety, but have an almost metallic appearance. And they are quite large, some larger than tennis balls.
The Silver Tree Cones are always a real eye catcher when I take them to market. They glow as the light catches them, but they're tactile too, with their velvety softness.
The stems are usually covered with the soft silvery foliage, but I prefer the cones on clean stripped stems. They make a real statement!
In amongst other flowers they add a highlight.
And they dry wonderfully! If you get a chance to have some of these beautiful cones in a vase, don't throw them out when the arrangement is past its best. Lay them in the sun for a week or two and you'll have a fantastic red-brown cone on the end of a long stem, with a silvery fur lining. Inside each segment of the cone is a seed and you may like to try germinating some to grow. In its native habitat in South Africa, the Silver Tree is listed as rare and endangered so you'll be doing your bit to make these gorgeous and startling plants more widely known.
The dried cones look great in dried arrangements and last for years.
I love growing these special plants! Look out for them and snap them up when you see them - they aren't available often. Not only are they striking and long lasting, but when they're no longer fresh they are still beautiful. You can't ask more of a cut flower than that!