The National Flower

Giant or king protea (Protea cynaroides)

Protea_smallThe giant or king protea is widely distributed in the south-western and southern areas of the Western Cape, from the Cedarberg up to just east of Grahamstown.

The artichoke-like appearance of the flower-heads of the king protea lead to the specific name ‘cynaroides’, which means ‘like cynara’ (the artichoke). The name does not do justice to the beautiful flower-heads of this protea, which is the largest in the genus. A number of varieties in colour and leaf shapes are found, but the most beautiful is the pink coloured flower.

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