Thursday, August 28, 2014

Leucadendron Tall Red

Leucadendron "Tall Red" is a bushy fast growing shrub that, like its name suggests, grows tall and red. For most of the year, the bracts and leaves are burgundy red.  They are useful as a filler but really not a memorable plant.  But over the winter months a transformation occurs as Tall Red produces its flowers.    The bracts surrounding the pollen presenters lighten.  

Like many Leucadendrons, the colour of Tall Red varies depending upon the amount of sunshine the plant receives.  In full sun, the red is strong but the bracts and foliage that are shaded are paler.  As the the plant begins flowering, the colour difference can be quite striking.  The bracts in full sun are rich red and open to reveal a lime green pom pom centre.  The paler bracts range from a soft peach to a very pale yellow.  

The overall colour effect is soft and peachy.

The lime green centres then begin to turn yellow.

Yellow and fluffy!

They are such a cute cheery flower at the end of winter.

And really useful as a filler flower adding texture and colour.

I just love the range of colour that you get from this surprising plant.  A great leucadendron as a cut flower, and also an easy one to grow in a garden. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Winter Colour

There is such an explosion of colour on the farm at this time of year.  As the weather gets colder, the colours seem to get brighter.  "Natives" are such great winter flowers with a surprising variety of colours and textures.

Leucadendrons change colour as they come into "flower" which is often over winter and spring.  While some are a rich deep maroon or red throughout the rest of the year, in winter they change colours.  Safari Sunset lives up to its name and changes to a vivid pink with creamy yellow inside.  And Red Gem, one of my favourites, changes from maroon to a buttery yellow with peachy tones.  I just love it!

Red Gem in July

Front - Safari Sunset, Middle Right - Red Gem, Back Left - Inca Gold

Other Leucadednrons that are green for most of the year, start to "glow" yellow.  Inca gold has a rich yellow colour highlighted with red tips.  I'm still looking forward to the Leucadendon Gandogerii and Goldstrike - fabulous spring yellows.

Inca Gold

There's so much gorgeous texture about too.

I love playing with colours and textures at this time of the year.  

It's heartening, on cold wintery days to be playing with such cheery colours too.

And there has been some cold weather lately - snow and hail and bitter winds.  

When you're out in the fields picking in the wind and the rain, with tingling cheeks and numb fingers, what keeps you going are the gorgeous colours that are filling the basket.

Winter is so pretty!