The king protea (Protea cynaroides) is a flowering plant. It is a distinctive member of the family Proteaceae, having the largest flower head in the genus. The species is also known as giant protea, honeypot or king sugar bush. It is widely distributed in the southwestern and southern parts of South Africa in the fynbos region.
The king protea is the national flower of South Africa. It also is the flagship of the The Protea Atlas Project, run by the South African National Botanical Institute. The king protea has several colour forms and horticulturists have recognised 81 garden varieties, some of which have injudiciously been planted in its natural range. In some varieties the pink of the flower and red borders of leaves are replaced by a creamy yellow.
This unusual flower has a long vase life in flower arrangements, and makes for an excellent dried flower. Protea cynaroides is adapted to survive wildfires by its thick underground stem, which contains many dormant buds; these will produce the new growth after the fire.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.