Fulbright South Africa

Marie Hastings-Tolsma, PhD, CNM

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3/5/2013 Giant or King Protea - South Africa’s national flower

I am in love with the beautiful King Protea which is found widely throughout the Cape Floral Region.  There is great variety in the size, color, etc. of the genus. It was named after the Greek god Proteus who legend says could change his shape as he desired. The closed bud (top) looks much like an artichoke…to me. I believe the flower is native to South Africa but is now grown around the world. Also of note is that South Africa’s national cricket team is named “Proteas.”