Protea is both the botanical name and the English common name of a genus of South African flowering plants, sometimes also called sugarbushes (Afrikaans: suikerbos). In local tradition, the Protea flower represents change and hope.
The family Proteaceae to which proteas belong is an ancient one among angiosperms. Evidence from pollen fossils suggest Proteaceae ancestors grew in Gondwana, in the Upper Cretaceous, 75-80 million years ago. The Proteaceae are divided into two subfamilies: the Proteoideae, best represented in southern Africa, and the Grevilleoideae, concentrated in Australia and South America and the other smaller segments of Gondwana that are now part of eastern Asia. Africa shares only one genus with Madagascar, whereas South America and Australia share many common genera — this indicates they separated from Africa before they separated from each other.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal.