A South African beauty that comes in many guises

A robust beauty - that’s the best way to describe Protea. With its ingenious orange and pink bracts, mysterious heart (the flower) and sturdy stem, it’s hard to overlook them. That’s why this flower is so well-suited to putting on a solo display in an attractive vase. But it also seizes its opportunity to shine in a bouquet. Its appeal is purely visual - it leaves scent for other flowers to fulfill.


Did you know that the Protea is South Africa’s national flower? The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus named the flower in 1735. Because of Protea’s many manifestations, he took the name from the Greek God Proteus, who could change his appearance as often as he liked.


Protea’s flowers are surrounded by coloured - often hairy - bracts. The bracts are sometimes close to the flower, whilst on some varieties they fan out and show off the white heart clearly. The colours range from pale to dark pink, with white and saffron tones around the flower. Leucospermum is related to Protea, and the resemblance is clear.


Bearing in mind the history of its name, you will not be surprised to hear that the flower symbolises diversity and change.


The flower originates from South Africa, where you can also find it under its local alias of sugarbush. It gets this name from the sap exuded by the flowers which tastes of sugar. Protea grows in subtropical to tropical conditions with warm days with plenty of sunlight and cool nights. Lately the flower is also grown on other continents, so that Protea is increasingly easier to buy throughout the year.