Mimetes cucullatus, the red pagoda, cowl pagoda or rooistompie in Afrikaans, is a strong growing shrub with erect branches and dense, oblong leaves. It may reach 2 m in height and flowers all year round. The distribution area falls entirely in the Western Cape on sandstone slopes, coastal and fynbos veld (Manning, 2007).
It used to be known scientifically as Mimetes lyrigera (lyrigera means lyre-like in Latin, referring to the leaves). The leaves are glabrous or hairless. They have a few small red teeth at the tips. This is the only member of the Mimetes genus that resprouts after fire. The large underground rootstock of mature plants makes this possible. The other species in the genus have to start from scratch, i.e. from seed again, after fires (Matthews, 1993).
The seeds have oily protuberances, elaiosomes, attached to them that attract ants. When the ants have carried the seeds off and eaten the elaiosomes, thus dispersing the seeds with no damage to them, they germinate on the fertile refuse dumps next to the ant nests (www.plantzafrica.com).