A visit to The Kirstenbosch Gardens, the famous botanical garden nestled at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, on the eastern slopes of the mountain, is a MUST!!! What makes the Gardens so famous worldwide is that (with minor exceptions) only indigenous plants are cultivated.The plants are native to the Cape region, highlighted by the spectacular collections of proteas. This is one of them...
Family : Proteaceae (Protea family)
Common names : orange flame pincushion, Langeberg pincushion (Eng.); oranjevlamspeldekussing (Afr.)
It is correctly called the Langeberg Pincushion, although it shares this name with Leucospermum mundii. It is also known as the oranjevlamspeldekussing or orange flame pincushion.
Leucospermum erubescens is RARE, meaning that it has a naturally small population and occurs over a small area. It is endemic to the Langeberg, meaning that in nature it occurs only there, and it is a habitat specialist, which means that it occurs in a very specific combination of conditions. It is not threatened at present, but rare plants are always at risk from sudden or unexpected events that could affect the entire population.
The brightly coloured, unscented flower heads are pollinated by nectar-feeding sugarbirds and sunbirds – and both are seen visiting the flower heads at Kirstenbosch. The birds perch on the flower head and probe into each flower in search of nectar, and in so doing their heads and necks come into contact with the pollen presenters and stigmas at the tips of the styles. Bees and beetles are also regular visitors, but they don't come into contact with the pollen presenters and thus do not do any pollinating.