19 November 2008

Green tree pincushion on the Cape Peninsula

Leucospermum conocarpodendron viridum
Near Spes Bona Forest, above Kalk Bay.
These pincushions are found from Kirstenbosch and Hout Bay southwards, where they are prominent and widespread. (Also found on Hottentots Holland’s to Franschhoek and the Kleinrivier mountains.)
Young leaves are covered in grey hairs causing confusion between the two subspecies Leucospermum conocarpodendron viridum and L. conocarpodendron conocarpodendron.
According to Tony Rebelo's little book Proteas of the Cape Peninsula, Leucospermum conocarpodendron viridum seems to co-exist with Mimetes fimbrifolius (tree pagoda), with which it may be easily confused when neither are in flower. Scientists have no idea as to how these two species can co-exist in the same habitat – theories suggest that one should go extinct.

Mimetes fimbrifolius near Spes Bona forest Kalk Bay, Nov 2008.

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