AVERAGE SIZE (H) x (W): 2m x 2m
FLOWERING TIME:   J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:   J F M A M J J A S O N D
A dense shrub which, true to its common name, attracts sunbirds to your garden. The shrub is evergreen with glossy, greyish-green leaves. It bears unique, ribbon-like flowers with peachy-orange petals which are displayed on spikes above the foliage.
The plant flowers for a long period in late summer through to mid-winter and can tolerate deep shade. If conditions are favourable, it may even flower again in spring.
The shrub branches at the base to form a rounded, bushy shrub.ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS:
The flowers attract sunbirds and bees to the garden.
NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION:
Rocky wooded mountain slopes, forest and thicket.
Give the shrub a light pruning in winter to encourage it to become more bushy and thus produce more flower spikes. As the flower spikes are produced at the branch ends this will make for a more attractive looking plant.
Bushveld, country, forest, rockery, woodland
Plant this attractive shrub in a mixed border to create a focal point. It can also be planted in a large container.
The Sunbird Bush can also be used to create an informal hedge.
The flowers are 2-lipped and approximately 5cm long. The upper lip is long, narrow, hooded and erect and the lower lip is rolled and twisted. The anthers and stigma are positioned on the underside of the upper lip. The flower spikes are 5–9 cm long at the tips of branches. The flowers emerge from between large, closely overlapping, green bracts, giving the inflorescence a cone-like appearance.
The leaves are narrowly elliptic with an entire margin, and taper at both ends. They are glossy grey-green and mature to a slightly darker green. They vary in size from 12–20 cm long and 4–7 cm broad.
The small, club-shaped fruit is green and ripens to brown. When the seeds are ripe, the seed capsule explodes to scatter the seeds on the ground.
The seeds are flattened dark brown discs, 5–6 mm in diameter.
Metarungia longistrobus is easily propagated from seeds and soft wood cuttings.