FloristDEX

King Protea

King Protea, or Protea cynaroides, has the largest bloom of all Protea species. The flower can grow a foot across and is convered in stiff pointed petals that give the head the appearance of a cup. The color variation in a King Protea is particularly interesting: at the base of the petals, the Protea is cream or yellow and the top of the petals are bright shades of red and pink, with a lovely scale in between. The thick leaves are stiff and long, but rounded like spoons. The plant grows as a shrub with thick stems and can reach about three feet tall.

Proteas grow from seeds or cuttings. As the national flower of South Africa, the Protea is used to warm climates. Protea should be planted in March in well-drained soil, then covered with a layer of sand. King Protea is striking as a centerpiece to a large bouquet. Because of its size, don?t expect a dainty flower arrangement here. Cut protea is very common in commercial markets.

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