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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

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

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 392

List of South African Plants

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