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Products > Leucospermum 'Goldfinger'
Leucospermum 'Goldfinger' - Goldfinger Pincushion
Image of Leucospermum 'Goldfinger'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Proteaceae (Proteas)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Orange Red
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [L. 'Helena']
Parentage: (complex hybrid)
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Leucospermum 'Goldfinger' - An evergreen shrub that will grow to 6 feet tall and as wide. It has long upright stems that are densely covered in upwardly inclined gray-green leaves that are entire along the margins except for several dentations near the leaf tip. This is an early flowering pincushion with the bloom starting in early March and going on until June (Nov–Sept in Hawaii) with the large compound flowers with long gold-colored styles (pins) that reflex downward and have pink tips (pollen presenters) with purple to red lower floral parts and bracts that darken with age.

This plant was new to cultivation in California in 2014 but based on what is known about its parentage, standard cultural practices used on other pincushions should apply; we recommend planting in full sun in a well-drained soil with only occasional irrigation once established and mulched to keep the soil cool and retain moisture. It should prove drought tolerant once established and cold hardy to about 25 degrees F. A general preference of this group for acidic soils may justify amending the soil or the application of soil sulfur but this plant has tolerated inland San Diego heat and clay loam soils, and it seems more disease resistant in nursery conditions than other cultivars. Fertilizers should be time release and very low in phosphorus but contain the trace elements Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Manganese and Copper.

The name for the genus comes from the Greek word 'leukos' meaning "white" and and 'sperma' meaning "seed" in reference to the white fleshy skin, called a elaiosome, that covers the seeds. This plant is from the University of Hawaii’s Protea Research Project, whose goal is to develop Leucospermum hybrids with improved horticultural characteristics. Hybrids have been bred and selected for desirable floral, foliar, and plant structural traits such as earliness to flower; an extended flowering season; long, slender, straight stems; slender leaves; reduced leaf and stem pubescence; ease of propagation; high yields; good postharvest characteristics, lighter stem and foliage weight and improved colors. Tolerance of disease, including foliar fungal diseases and tolerance of the root pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi is also an objective of the program. Leucospermum 'Goldfinger' is a complex hybrid between a hybrid designated only as '#95' in the University of Hawaii's breeding program that has as parents Leucospermum lineare, L. glabrum, L. reflexum and L. vestitum and was crossed with Leucospermum grandiflorum.

Although listed in the Protea Register as Leucospermum 'Goldfinger', this same variety is also being marketed under as Leucospermum 'Helena' as part of the Royal Hawaiian Series, which also includes Leucospermum 'Phil Parvin', Leucospermum 'Blanche Ito' and 'Brandi Dela Cruz'. We continue to grow it under the original name. Our plants came to us originally from Dennis Perry at Protea USA, who noted this variety was particularly more heat and heavy soil tolerant, making it a good plant for Southern California gardens. 

This information about Leucospermum 'Goldfinger' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.