Protea Aristata * Pine Sugar Bush * Ladismith Sugarbush * Almost Extinct * 4 Rare Seeds *
THIS LISTING IS FOR 4 SEEDS OF PROTEA ARISTATA Highly ornamental protea from South Africa. Medium shrub for mediterranean style gardens. Use as a feature or as part of a mixed bed. Make great cut flowers. Bird and insect attracting. Protea aristata would surely be among the five best-known South African proteas, even though it had a rather late documented discovery in the 1920s. It is a great wonder why it took so long for botanists to record such a beautiful and attractive plant, especially since it has been recorded growing along roadsides in the Ladismith surrounds. Its current recognition is largely owing to its stunning crimson-pink flowerheads, needle-like foliage and neat form. It could prove to be a future favourite amongst indigenous gardeners, as it is water-wise, considering increasing water scarcity in South Africa. Protea aristata falls within the group of ‘true’ sugarbushes which are characterised by their large, obconic flowerheads. P. aristata is an erect, stocky, single-stemmed shrub that reaches 2.5 m in height and a diameter of up to 3 m when growing in areas that evade fires, while the stem diameter reaches 250 mm. Stems are erect, hairless and 5–7 mm in diameter. Trunk bark is smooth and grey, whereas younger stems have light brown bark. Narrow, linear and erect needle-like leaves are arranged in an upright position on the stems. Leaves are 70–110 mm long and 2–3 mm wide, are flattened with the petiolar region slightly tapering and are hairless, glaucous (greyish green or blue) and smooth, with a black point at the leaf tip. The beautiful, reddish pink flowerhead is obconic (inverted cone) to bell-shaped, is 110–140 mm long and 100–120 mm wide. Flowering is mainly during the hot and dry summer months in the southern hemisphere, and occurs from October to as late as February, with December being the peak flowering period.
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