Fynbos Friday and the King Protea

Protea Cynaroides


Apart from being our national flower, and on the chests of our sporting heroes, this is one of my personal favourites on the farm, certainly when flowering, this species has the most awesome display of colour and sheer magnificence of the protea family.    The sugarbirds look particularly regal when perched on top one of these thrones, and they make such a nice home for all the beetles and ants coming to collect pollen.

All in all one of the more prolific flowering proteas, and very easy to grow and cultivate.

“Possibly the most spectacular flower in the world” says Sima Eliovson.  And this from the inside cover of her book- Proteas for Pleasure 

Lure of the Protea

Where silver rocks reflect the mountain streams,

The Protea holds aloft its stately head-

Majestic flower to prompt the thoughts of men,

According to their nature and their dreaming.

To some it seems a giant artichoke,

While others link it to the ancient god

For whom ‘tis named-

The ruby glow and allied silky beard

Evoke the mystery of primeval days;

A traveler, who ranges far from home,

Will quicken at its sight and yearn

And envy the sugarbirds,

That dip into the gleaming cup,

While swaying gently in the wind.

Sima Eliovson.


And finally, an image of the sacred geometry of the inside of a King protea flower head