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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Leucadendron argenteum - SIlver Tree

The Silver tree is a beautiful small evergreen tree growing 20-30 feet tall and generally quite narrow. There is nothing else like this tree for the amazing color. Rare, endangered, short lived, fussy, frost sensitive, - what horticulturist wouldn't want to grow it? 






Foliage is alternate, simple, narrowly lanceolate, 4-6" long, entire margins, and covered with silky hairs. Foliage is dense covering the stems though can be restricted to the ends of the branches.







Flowers are monoecious, this one male. Females will produce a woody "cone", usually at the top of the trees.



Bark is way cool, looks like a an elephant leg.



Propagation is not really hard, but timing is everything. Trees are estimated to live 15-20 years in their native habitat, but may live longer without fires that rip though that habitat. The trees at the Arboretum have to be 25 years old. But they are intolerant to frost with the tips burning and they do seem to die without much notice.

Misidentification:
Hardly… silver foliage is a gardeners dream.

Location:
Aptos
140 Baltusrol Dr.

Capitola
101 Saxon Ave

Santa Cruz
231 Morrissey Blvd (side street)
316 Berkeley Way (largest ones outside of the UCSC Arboretum)

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