Aulax umbellata

Family:

Proteaceae

Genus:

Aulax

Species:

umbellata – meaning ‘like an umbrella’

Common name:

Krismisblom, Broad-leaf Featherbush

Vulnerability Index Score:

2

2.5m

September to February

Insects, Seeder

Dried, Fresh

What does the plant look like?

Aulax umbellata is a shrub with a single stem that grows up to 2.5 metres tall.The leaves have a rounded tip.They are up to 110 mm long and 15 mm wide.

What are the flowers like?

Male and female flowers grow on different plants.When the plant is in flower, the leaves change colour to purple-brown.The female flowers are delicate, creamy yellow. Plants flower from September to February.

How does it reproduce?

Aulax umbellata is visited by a variety of insect species (generalist insect-pollination system). Female flowers ripen and dry to form a cup-shaped, woody structure that holds the seeds for several years before releasing them.

Where is it found?

It grows in well-drained, coastal sandy soils from Kogelberg to Still Bay.

How is it used?

The female flowers are used in both the fresh- and dried-flower industries. The male flower wilts quickly after being picked and is therefore not suitable as a cut-flower.

Conservation

[Red List: ]

Aulax umbellata is listed as Near Threatened on the SANBI Red List of South African Plants. It is threatened by invasive alien plants, afforestation, and in some instances Protea and vineyard cultivation and urbanisation.