King Proteas South Africas National Flowers

Posted by on Oct 29, 2012

King Proteas South Africas National Flowers

The South African National Flower,  The King Protea and many other Proteas are plentiful in the semi-arid areas of the southern tip of South Africa, where they are believed to have originated. Also called the King Sugar Bush, the Honeypot, or the Giant Protea, the King Protea is the largest of the Protea plants. Its flower head can grow as large as 30 centimeters or almost 12 inches across. As for height, it can grow to about two meters or over six feet tall.

 Commonly, the outside part of the flower head of the King Protea has spiky projections that are either pink or red and its center is usually lilac in color. The cape sugarbird feeds on its nectar. As the bird drinks the nectar, the King Protea deposits pollen on the bird’s forehead. The bird then flies to another King Protea, pollinating it.

Of the more than 114 species of proteas found in Africa, about 82 are found in Southern Africa. Most of the proteas found in Africa thrive in the general area in South Africa from around Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province to Clanwilliam in the Western Cape. In its evolution, after appearing in South Africa, proteas emerged in Australia, South America, Madagascar, New Zealand, and parts of Asia. About 1,500 species exist worldwide of which about 160 are cultivated.