Leucadendron stellare (Sims) Sweet

Star Conebush

Family: Proteaceae

Genus: Leucadendron

Size: To 6' tall


A low shrub. Stem very much branched from the base; branches some simple, others verticillately divided at the upper part. Leaves sessile, crowded, without order, lanceolate, narrowed towards the base, fleshy, concave, terminated with a small callous point, those on the upper part of the flowering branches smooth, but some of the lower ones and those on the younger shoots hairy underneath. Flowers yellowish green in a hemisphaerical terminal head, not downy, surrounded at the base with a regular, radiated, smooth involucre, projecting somewhat beyond the head of flowers, of the same colour and shape as the leaves. Within the involucre are two or three rows of boat-shaped bractes, hairy underneath, shorter than the tube of the corolla, but the upper part of the receptacle is without paleae. Corolla four-petaled: petals linear, revolute, villous without, slightly adhering downwards into a tube. Style erect, exserted: stigma club-shaped, smooth, greenish. (Bot. Mag. - Protea stellaris)

See Protea Atlas Project for photographs.


Published in Hort. Brit. (Sweet) 345 in 1826, as "stellatum".

Basionym Protea stellaris Sims.

Native to South Africa.

Synonyms: Leucadendron imbricatum R.Br., Leucadendron empetrifolium Gand., Leucadendron polygaloides Link.

Also listed by ProteaWorldOnline: Protea gnidiifolia Knight, L. angustatum E.Mey. 1944, L. imbricatum Wend. 1796, Leucadendron imbricatum var. canaliculatum Meisn., Leucadendron imbricatum var. dregeanum Meisn.

This plant is very nearly allied to Protea pallens and conifera, two species, the varieties of which, Thunberg allows to be very difficultly distinguished from each other ; nor is it certain that the plants this Botanist has described under these names are the same as those of Linnaeus.

We should not have hesitated to consider our plant as one of the varieties of conifera, and of the particular one figured by Breynius, were it not for the total want of all woolliness in the head of flowers. At the same time the shortness and greater regularity of the involucre which has the same colour as the leaves, and the verticillate branches, separate it from pallens, with which the smoothness of the head unites it. In this dilemma we have thought it safest to consider this plant as an intermediate species, distinct from both.

A native of the Cape of Good Hope, of as easy culture as any of the genus. (Bot. Mag. - Protea stellaris)


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner