Taisha wrote today’s entry:
Protea cynaroides is native to South Africa, where it is found across much of the biodiverse fynbos region of the country at elevations from sea level to 1500 meters. It mainly grows in sunny areas with acidic, well-draining soil. Bloom times, flower colour, flower size and leaf size vary significantly across its range, associated (at least in part) with differences in geoclimatic factors. The genus name Protea is fitting then, considering it is named after the Greek god Proteus, who according to mythology was said to be able to change his shape at will. The specific epithet means “like Cynara“, in reference to the resemblance the flowering heads have to artichokes.
King protea is known for its large, showy, dome-shaped inflorescences made up of many tepaloid flowers subtended by stiff showy bracts. This evergreen shrub has glossy leathery leaves growing from a thick woody stalk.