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Characteristics: Large shrub or small tree to 6 m spread 3 m
Seeds per packet: 5
An attractive shrub which grows in a crooked or gnarled fashion up to 6 metres tall with finely serrated leathery leaves that are 15-30 cm long and 2.5-4c m wide. The leaf underside is covered with fine rust coloured hair.
Spectacular 10 cm long flower heads are cylindrical in bud, at first a velvety silver-grey, then red tipped with silver, before the flowers begin to open and release wiry golden styles.
As they open from the bottom first, the spike becomes acorn-shaped, taking on wine-red, silver and gold colours arranged in neat vertical rows.
Endemic to Western Australia.
Prefers a light to medium well-drained soil in an open sunny position, avoid waterlogged soils. Drought tolerant but frost tender when young.
Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn in temperate climates, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C
Pre-treatment of smoke: Not considered critical to germination of this species and germination will generally occur without it.
However many members of the Proteaceae family are responsive to pre-treatment of smoke. Although germination will often occur without smoke treatment it has proved to be beneficial in reducing the number of days to germination and increasing germination rates in many species of the Proteaceae family.
Smoke treatments are simple and can be undertaken either by soaking the seed overnight or by applying to the surface after sowing, both provide good results. Smoke treatments available by clicking here.
General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.