All About Protea

The largest species of protea, the King Protea has yellow and white flowers in the center with larger, pointed pink outer petals

About the Protea

From the Proteaceae family, Protea is a genus of around 50 species of flowering shrubs and trees native to South Africa and Australia. They are also called "sugar bushes" due to their production of copious amounts of nectar. Proteas grow in a large variety of shapes and sizes. The flowers typically come in shades of pink, red, orange, white, and yellow.

Characteristics of Protea

Proteas grow as both shrubs and tall trees, depending on where they live. Their flowers are tubular shaped with large outer bracts (a colorful modified leaf) that spiral around the stem. Usually stiff and leathery, the bracts can be oval, rounded, paddle-shaped, or pointed. Together, they encompass a cone-shaped inner mass of long tubular florets. Proteas are easy to spot due to their many vibrant colors of reds, pinks, yellows, cream, and orange.

Fun Facts About the Protea

  • Proteas date back 300 million years, making them one of the oldest flowers on the planet.
  • The King Protea is pollinated by insects, birds, bats, and small mammals, making it essential in many ecosystems.
  • In the 1800s, nectar from the Protea was used medicinally as a cough syrup.
  • The King Protea is South Africa's national flower.
  • Proteas were around and blooming the same time dinosaurs roamed the planet.
  • The outer ring of petals on the King Protea resembles a crown, which befits its name.
Protea Name Meaning:
Taken from mythology, "Proteus" is the son of Poseidon
Protea Symbolism:
Diversity, Transformation, Longevity, Courage
Popular Protea Varieties:
King Protea, Pink Ice, Pin Cushion, Blushing Bride

Protea Occasions

Shop gorgeous flower arrangements featuring Proteas with Flowers By Mike. The Protea's distinct shape adds an exotic touch to wedding bouquets and floral arrangements. As a cut flower, Proteas have an exceptionally long vase life and are absolutely striking when grouped with other varieties. A floral arrangement with Protea flowers makes a wonderfully unique and glorious gift for any occasion.