Proteas: The Kings, The Queens and the In-Betweens

Protea, also known as Sugar Bush, is an exotic fresh cut flower originating from South Africa. The ancestors to the Protea are thought to be roughly 300 million years old. The Protea flower was discovered in 1735 by a Swedish botanist named Karl Linnaeus. Proteas are believed to have been named after the Greek God Proteus. This is because Proteus could transform into anything he wanted. In comparison, Protea’s have many shapes and colors, making it a perfect fit.

Proteas on Display

Many believe proteas symbolize diversity and transformation. This is a great symbolization being that there are over 1600 species of Protea. With that being said, Proteas can easily shine on their own. However, they also look beautiful mixed in with other flowers. Protea is a popular flower when creating bridal and bridesmaid bouquets because of its versatility. Please note that Proteas are very thirsty flowers and do not do well in warm or draughty areas. If properly cared for, the Protea will add a beautiful touch to anything you use it for.

Hang ’em out to dry

Are you planning on using Protea’s that have been dried out? Drying is an easy process that can be done in very little time. First, you will need to remove your flowers from water for 3 weeks or more. Remember to hang them to dry. If the flowers are laid flat or in a bunch, be sure to watch out for a bundled and unnatural shape.  Most Proteas dry out well and do not lose many petals in the process. When dry, some color may remain, however; most of the time the color will turn to a shade of tan.

Most Popular Proteas


The King Protea has the largest flower head, which is typically 8-12 inches. Made up of a large white bulb in the center with pink pointy petals sticking up around it. From a side angle, it looks very similar to a crown silhouette. The king protea is also the national flower of South Africa.


The Queen Protea has the second largest flower head, ranging between 6-8 inches. The Queen Proteas center has a black tipped bulb, while its petals hug the center more closely than those of the King.


The Pincushion Protea gets its name from its petals, which look like little pins sticking out of the base. This gives it an unbelievably unique appearance. Its bright yellow, orange and red colors make it a perfect flower to make a statement.

Safari Sunset Leucadendron

This species of Protea has hardy greens with flowering tops that range in color from greens, reds, and yellows. The tips of the flower carry a rusty red color, giving it the name “Safari Sunset”.

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