For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


The Proteaceae family is more than 140 million years old, already existing during the time of Gondwana land when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Southern Africa is home to 360 species of protea in 14 genera (groups). The word "protea" is used commonly to refer to any member of the Proteaceae family, while "Protea" with a capital "P" is used specifically for the genus Protea which are the flowers like the sugarbush and the king protea. Genus "Leucospermum" are the pincushions, and genus "Leucadendron" the cone bushes, grown for their colourful foliage as well as their cones. Genus "Serruria" is famous for the Blushing Brides.
Proteas do not grow in excessively damp areas (over 3 m of rain per year) nor in hot humid areas (greater than 80% humidity with temperatures over 30°C for several days).
This is one of the pincushion variety. Some species are small like this and others grow into 15 foot trees.
One of the protea's are our national flower....not this one though.

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