T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Leucospermum reflexum (Sky-rocket leucospermum)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Genus: Leucospermum
Species: L. reflexum
Binomial name: Leucospermum reflexum
Two varieties:  Leucospermum reflexum var. reflexum and Leucospermum reflexum var. luteum
Common names: Rocket pincushion, Sky-rocket leucospermum

Leucospermum reflexum is a species of pincushion protea found in South Africa. It is a rounded, silvery grey-leaved shrub that can grow > 4 m tall. The simple leaves are more or less elliptic and are covered with dense grey hairs. They are about 20-55 x 5-13 mm, with 2-3 glandular teeth at the tip. 
During August to December rounded flower heads (80-100 mm across) occur at the ends of the branches. Each flower is tube-like and made up of velvety floral parts called the perianth segments on which the anthers are placed. These surround the long style which escapes from the tube to form the 'pin' and the perianths then curl away from it. Young flowers are curved to start with, and then bend back toward the stem as they mature. The common name of rocket pincushion is very apt because the downward bent styles look like the fiery tail of a rocket trailing behind it.

There are two varieties of this shrub. Leucospermum reflexum var. reflexum with crimson flowers and Leucospermum reflexum var. luteum with yellow flowers.

 Leucospermum reflexum var. reflexum Sky-rocket leucospermum 

Flower bud

A mature flower. (Sky-rocket leucospermum)

The grey leaves

Leucospermum reflexum var. luteum  Yellow rocket pincushion

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/