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LEUCADENDRON argenteum

Silver Tree

Stock: Available

$4.50

Family: Proteaceae

Characteristics: Evergreen small tree to 6 m spread 2 m

Seeds per packet: 3

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One of South Afica's rarest and most beautiful trees the Silver tree survives in the wild only on some slopes of Table Mountain.

An erect, well-proportioned fast growing ornamental plant with a stout trunk and thick, grey bark. The upright branches are covered with large lance-shaped leaves, up to 150 x 20 that are silver-grey, covered on both surfaces with thousands of tiny, soft, silvery hairs and fringed with long white hairs. The characteristic silver sheen of the leaves is caused by the hairs, the intensity of the sheen varies and are at their most silver in hot, dry weather.
The male bracts shine bright silver and the flower heads are bright yellow balls. The florets occur in rounded heads, 40 x 50 mm wide, the florets are silver to pinkish silver in bud and yellow and pink when open. Female flower heads are quite hard to find as the involucral leaves conceal the heads and don't shine quite as brightly.

Endangered of extinction in the wild it is estimated that 74% of the wild population and 55% of its habitat has been lost to urbanisation and agriculture.

Leucadendrons are dioecious, separate male and female plants. Both the male and female flowers occur in dense heads at the branch tips with the male flowers the most attractive, only the female flower will produces cones and seed.

Prefers a sandy well drained soil in a protected sunny position. Drought and frost tender.

The best time to sow is usually autumn or spring when the temperature range is between 16-22°C and there is difference of day and night temperatures of around 12°C.
If your summer is hot and dry and your winter is moderate and wet the best time to sow is autumn.
In colder climates with less harsh summers it is usually better to sow in spring.

  1. The growing medium should be well draining but should remain damp between watering.
  2. Sow the seed the depth on the seed size. Vermiculite is a good medium to use to cover the surface as it helps retain moisture and controls the temperature. 
  3. Keep moist but not too wet as the seed may rot. Do not let the growing mix completely dry out. 
  4. Germination should occur in 21-60 days depending on the temperature and conditions. 

Pre-treatment of smoke is recommended:
Members of the Proteaceae 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.

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