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Serruria glomerata

   (Family: Proteaceae)
Afrikaans: Spinnekopbossie English: Cluster spiderhead  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 0.2 - 0.5m
Spread: 0.5m
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred altitude: 0 - 330m
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
  Sand (coarse texture, drains easily)
pH: acid
Biome: Fynbos
Flowering time EDIT
              x x x    
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Flower scent EDIT
  Sweet fragrance
  Flower info
  The flowerheads are almost spherical, 25-50 mm long and 35-45 mm wide with up to three per branch. Each flowerhead is made up of 4-8 smaller heads of 20-40 flowers each. They are cream with a silky white sheen. Flowering occurs in late winter to spring (August to October).
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf margin
Leaf size 25 - 70mm
  Leaf info EDIT
  Feathery foliage, leaves are 25-70 mm long and 30-60 mm wide, hairless and curve upwards. They are finely dissected into 20-25 cylindrical segments with sharp, fine points.
Fruit type EDIT
Sow seeds in Autumn
  Seed info EDIT
  Seeds are released about 2 months after flowering. The fruit is a small hard, sparsely hairy, nut, with an elaiosome at the base. The elaiosome is an oily protuberance that is hidden while the fruit is attached to the flowerhead, but when it falls to the ground it is exposed.
Description EDIT
Attractive fynbos shrub with compact rounded shape and feathery foliage.

It conservation status is vulnerable as is endemic to the Cape Peninsula and although locally common and occurring in fairly dense stands, this species has lost more than 30% of its population on lowland sites over the past 60 years, and is virtually extinct outside of nature reserves.
Growing EDIT
Quite easy to grow and are quick-growing but relatively short-lived and usually need to be replaced after a few years in cultivation.
It is suitable for rockeries or terraces as well as large pots and containers, provided drainage is good.
Pinch the tips when young to encourage dense, bushy growth.
Distribution EDIT
Occurs naturally only on the Cape Peninsula and Cape Flats.
Found on sandstone flats and slopes to 330 m altitude.
It is largely confined to Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos and is more common in the south. It used to occur on the Cape Flats but today is found only in the Tokai Plantation and Kenilworth Racecourse and has been re-introduced in the Rondevlei Bird Sanctuary. It can be seen elsewhere on the Peninsula, including the Noordhoek Flats, Else's Peak, Red Hill, Slangkop and Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.
History EDIT
The genus Serruria is named after Dr. James Serrurier, professor of botany at Utrecht in the early 18th century. The specific name, glomerata, is Latin and means clustered into more or less rounded heads, referring to the flowers.

Serrurias are commonly known as spiderheads, or spinnekopbosse in Afrikaans. They earned this name because many species have silky hairs on their finely divided leaves, which gives them a cobwebby appearance, as if spiders had spun their webs among the branches.
Ecology EDIT
Serruria glomerata is pollinated by insects.

It is killed by fire and does not resprout.

Their seeds have an elaiosome at the base, an oily growth on the seed that is attractive to ants and contains nutrients for them. The seeds drop about 2 months after flowering, and are carried off by ants to their nests where they consume the elaiosome but leave the rest of the seed uneaten. They survive underground, safe from fires and other predators like mice, and germinate after a fire has swept through the area. Seed dispersal by ants is known as myrmecochory.
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