Isopogon formosus or Rose Cone Flower is an evergreen shrub that is endemic to areas near Albany and Esperance in Western Australia. It occurs naturally in heathland and woodland areas and is a part of the family Proteaceae. Isopogon formosus is one of around 35 species in the Isopogon genus, all species of which are occurring only in Australia. Most are small to medium sized shrubs having flower clusters arranged in globular heads. The fruits are also globular in shape giving rise to the common name of “drumsticks“.
Isopogon – from Greek isos, equal and pogon, a beard, a reference to the hairs surrounding the fruits. Formosus – from Latin formosus, means beautiful or good looking.
It has an erect or bushy prickly foliage between 1.5 and 2 metres high with divided, narrow, terete leaves about 5 cm long. The pink flowers appear from mid winter to early summer. Rounded “drumsticks” containing the seeds appear later, formed from the old flower parts.
Isopogon formosus is a very spectacular species which is well known in cultivation in Mediterranean-type climates (dry summer – wet winter). It is difficult to grow this plant in more humid, summer rainfall areas as it requires well drained, moist soils in a sunny areas or with a light shade. It will withstand light to moderate frosts. It will not tolerate long periods of dryness or heavy frost.
Rose Cone Flower is usually propagated from seed which germinates readily without pretreatment. Cuttings are also successful using firm, current season’s growth. It responds well to light pruning which improves the shape.
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