The Pincushion Protea has long-lasting flower heads in yellows, oranges and reds consist of a large number of small flowers with stiff protruding styles – fascinating and almost unnatural to the touch.
Hybrids and cultivars of our indigenous Pincushion Proteas are grown the world over for the cut-flower trade, and are probably one of the most distinctive and recognised flowers on the planet. In South Africa, where they hail from, you will find pincushions in flower from July to November.
Species like Leucospermum Cordifolium, Leucospermum Tottum, Leucospermum Reflexum, Leucospermum Lineare and Leucospermum Glabrum have been widely crossed with each other and a wide range of modern hybrids and cultivars grown from healthy cuttings are available for the home gardener to plant.
Because Pincushion Proteas are part of the Cape Fynbos floral kingdom there might be a perception that they are temperamental and difficult to grow in other provinces. This is not true, because they fare very well elsewhere, including in other rainfall climates, and once established can even tolerate a little frost. The secret lies in how they are planted and cared for.