Friday, March 14, 2014

Silver Tree Cones

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!

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I have a Silver Tree in my garden which is obviously male, have not been very successful in propagating it but it is developing into a lovely young tree. It withstands strong winds too. I will now make it my mission to obtain seeds. Thank you for teaching me something about my own countries plants.
    Kemp

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    1. Hi Kemp, I love the male flowers too. They have a really beautiful perfume. Do you propagate your own plants or buy from a nursery? We've done a little bit of propagating, but mostly buy from wholesale nurseries. Good luck with your seed search! G

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    2. Grace,
      I saw your pictures on Facebook too, they really are gorgeous. Yes I propagate most of my own plants and I try my hand at germinating seeds as well but I still have so much to learn. Currently in my greenhouse I have just over 7000 young plants that needs planting soon. Its such good remedy to spend time amongst them.
      Kemp

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  2. Grace, I saw some of your photos on Face Book too! They are really wonderful. I propagate most of my plants but try my hand at seeds too although I still have so much to learn. Currently I have just over 7000 young plants in my greenhouse that needs planting soon. It is the best therapy any person could want to spend time amongst those young plants.
    Kemp

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