Sandveld Pincushion Sandveldluisiesbos - Leucospermum rodolentum
This, the largest of the Sandveld Pincushions, is also the most widespread. It occurs from the Olifants River mouth to Kraaifontein. The Sandveld Pincushion regularly grows to nearly 2m tall, and with flowers from July to January, is one of the longest-flowering Pincushions. Growth occurs after flowering, mainly from November to March. "Rodolentum" translates as rose-scented and the flowerheads attract a variety of bees, flies and beetles, as well as birds, for pollination. After flowering, the seeds are released and moved by ants into their nests where they are safe from fire and rodents. After all the parents are killed by fire, the seeds germinate and the cycle continues. We have no idea how long the seeds remain viable in ants nests, but it certainly is several decades. Although common, 75% of the Sandveld Pincushion's range is invaded by alien invader plants, mainly Wattles. The Hopefield Sandveld is a potentially important site for the conservation of this species.