The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Orange Flame Pincushion

Afrikaans name: Oranjevlamspelde-kussing

Orange Flame Pincushion

The beautiful Orange Flame Pincushion

Photo © bomboman - Fotolia.com

Leucospermum erubescens

The Orange Flame Pincushion is a stunning looking bush when flowering. Bunches of orange-red flowers are produced between August and January.

This shrub may grow up to 2 metres in height. It has a single main stem. The hairless leaves are around 8 cm in length and up to 2 cm wide. The flower heads are approximately 6 cm in diameter. Two months after flowering the fruit is ripe and falls off. Some are collected by ants and carried into underground nests where the fleshy parts of the fruit are eaten, leaving the seed to germinate after a fire.

The Orange Flame Pincushion is confined to the Langeberg area between Muiskraal and Brandrivier. These Proteas prefer dry north-facing slopes and gravel flatlands. Its natural habitat receives about 300 mm of rain annually.

This beautiful plant is classified as Rare but not threatened. It is found in a restricted which makes it vulnerable to fire and other natural and human threats.

The Orange Flame Pincushion is visited by sunbirds, sugarbirds, and various insects. Interestingly, it relies on the birds for pollination as the birds come into contact with the pollen presenters and stigmas while insects don't.

References and further reading


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