Greek leukos — white, dendron — tree, referring to the visual impression given by L. argenteum.
Evergreen trees and shrubs to 10 m tall, but mostly much smaller. Leaves alternate, entire, leathery, those below the flower heads often brightly coloured and petal-like. Flower clusters axillary and terminal, the sexes on separate plants. Male flowers loose, spherical, fluffy, not cone-like. Female flowers cone-like, formed of overlapping bracts. Fruit a broad nut.
Grown for the impressive flower heads with leafy bracts at the base of the flowers, mostly coloured in winter and spring in shades of yellow or grey and tinged with pink; they make exceptional cut flowers.
The variability of species in the trade, variability of male and female plants, and technical difficulty of characters make an identification key impractical.
80 species from S Africa.
Seed, as soon as produced and most species also from hardwood tip cuttings.
Male and female flower clusters occur on separate plants; fruit hidden within the bracts of the mature female head.
Mt Lofty Bot. Garden, Adelaide, had 38 taxa in 1991.
Source: (2002). Proteaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
A'Katie's Blush' L. laureolum _ L. salignum. Leaves variegated with purple margins. Flowers autumn to winter. Raised R.A. Eggleton as a sport of 'Silvan Red'. PVJ 7(3)48.
A 'Our Vision' L. discolor _ L. uliginosum. R. Warwick and M. Tonkin, Australia. ['World Vision'] PVJ 10(3)56.
Bracts yellow; late winter to spring. A L. stelligerum hybrid. Int. Proteaflora, 1991.
Bracts cream with a bright red flower mass; spring to early summer. L. salignum × l. discolor (male). Raised by Proteaflora and int. 1987.
Bracts bronze-green with cream centre; autumn to winter. L. laureoleum × l. salignum Raised in New Zealand by J. Stevens, 1960. Int. 1963, Mathews and Carter. Syn. 'Red Gem', 'Safari Gold'.
Creamy pink bracts in spring. An L. salignum hybrid. Syn. 'Maui Sunset'.
L. laureolum × l. salignum. Bracts deep golden yellow, pointed and edged with red; late winter to spring.
Yellow bracts and silver cones in spring. L. floridum hybrid (female). G. 'Jewel 76'. New Zealand. Int. 1980, Duncan and Davies, 1978; Mathews and Carter, 1983.
L. laureolum × l. salignum. Bracts deep red; autumn to spring. Raised J. Stevens and I. Bell, New Zealand,1962, and int.1964. Syn. 'Rainbow'.
Bracts yellow, turning pink in spring. L. orientale (female) selected by Proteaflora and released in 1986.
Flower head tulip-shaped. Red bracts in autumn and winter. Leaf tips purple. L. laureolum × L. salignum. Selected at Proteaflora by P. Mathews and released in 1980. Slimmer in size and appearance than 'Safari Sunset'. Mathews and Carter 1983.