Swanhead Triplespoon - Spatalla incurva
Few people recognize the Swanhead Triplespoon as a member of the Protea Family. In fact, few people even notice the Spoons while walking in the mountains.
There are two major groups of Spoons - Unispoons with single flowers and Triplespoons with flowers in threes. Both these arrangements are reductions from an ancestral species which had flowers in groups of four - this can be seen by counting the floral bracts - all Spoons have four floral bracts, and little lumps where the missing flowers should be. Seven species of Spoons occur in the mountains around Worcester.
The Swanhead Triplespoon occurs at the highest altitudes - it occurs near the top of Matroosberg in the Hex River Mountains and ranges from the Cederberg to Keeromsberg - always at high altitudes. The Swanhead Triplespoon flowers from May to February, but peaks from October to January. The flowers are probably pollinated by bees. Seeds are stored in ants nests and germinate after a fire. By increasing your awareness of our flora, you will find it much more enjoyable and exciting.
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