The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

King Protea

Afrikaans name: Grootsuikerkan

King Protea

Photo © Patrik Stedrak -

Protea cynaroides

The King Protea is the national flower of South Africa. It has various other names including Giant Protea and King Sugar Bush.

This is a popular plant in the gardening world and numerous colour varieties have been cultivated. It is a popular cut flower and has a long life in the vase.

The King Protea is a shrub that grows to a height of around 1 metre, sometimes up to 2 metres. The flowers are up to 30 cm in diameter, making them the biggest of the Protea flowers, and a bush may get up to 10 flowers during the flowering season. The flowers are often frequented by sunbirds and sugarbirds. Insects, such as bees, are also attracted to them.

These plants are adapted to cope with hot dry summers and cold wet winters.

References and further reading

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 109

Sasol First Field Guide to Wild Flowers of Southern Africa - Author: John Manning - Published: 1999 - Page: 47

Proteas for Pleasure - 3rd edition - Author: Sima Eliovson - Published: 1973 - Page: 64

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southe - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Published: 1991 - Page: 392

Ecoguide - Fynbos - Author: Colin Paterson-Jones and John Manning - Published: 2007 - Page: 141

Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa - Author: John Manning - Published: 2009 - Page: 170

Discovering Wild Flowers in Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Sima Eliovson - Published: 1969 - Page: 50


List of South African Plants

Got a comment about the content on this page?

Copyright Steven Herbert Projects, 2013 - 2022. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy - FAQ - Terms of use