This photograph is from the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum, taken during my spring trip. I was a few days early to catch this rose cone flower or drumstick plant in full bloom, but was still attracted by it enough to take a photograph. Drumstick plant refers to the globular fruiting heads found on the ends of this shrub’s branches (photograph).
Native to southwestern Australia, this is one of about thirty species in the genus (all native to Australia). The Growing Native Plants guide for Isopogon formosus and the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants page on Isopogon formosus both contain excellent information about the species, particularly the cultivation. They also contain references to the etymology; it’s always worth repeating that formosus (and its variants) means “beautiful” (I wonder what a garden containing only plants with the epithet formosus would look like…).
A couple comments about the Arboretum at Santa Cruz. It has an excellent collection of southern hemisphere plants, particularly the Proteaceae (like today’s species) and conifers. I regret not taking many photographs of the conifers, but the weather wasn’t as predicted that day and the light was harsher than I was expecting. Do visit if you ever get the chance!