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Leucadendron argenteum



14th September 2013


One of the greatest delights of owning a garden is the camouflage effect, allowing one to conceal insanity undel the label of horticulture. I am happy to be concealed.
From time to time the insanity bursts through and becomes visible and here it stands, in the shape of Leucadendron argenteum. The Silver Tree is a wonderful small tree, growing to about 10m tall and comes from the lowland slopes of the Cape Peninsula. Some Cape plants are hardy in the milder parts of the UK, some are borderline and Leucadendron argenteum probably isn't either.
I have a nice bright and airy Agave house, an adventurous enthusiasm for the Cape flora and now I have a Leucadendron. I have it planted in a stiff soil derived from granite, but that is the only similarity to its natural habitat. My cold house will probably not offer enough protection to nurse it through the winter. I will try to keep radiation frosts at bay and there is a slim chance that in a greenhouse the sun will provide enough heat to give it a chance of recovery.
At present it is all just speculation. The young plant has established and started to grow. As far as I can tell it is healthy (the Proteaceae are all a bit susceptible to phytophthora diseases).
It can be grown on Tresco, and there are one or two by the coast in the extreme south west (the sort of garden where Pelargoniums prosper year round).
Shining silver leaves, camouflaged insanity.

19th June 2015




2nd December 2017




18th August 2018


After several delightful years it was finally killed in the frost5s of March. I hoped that it might produce a low shoot, but it is dead.

18th August 2018


So I have replaced it with a new seedling.