Proteas

Pick of the proteas

By Klaudyna Kyros

Tags: Allegro, Australis Ruby, coastal plants, Cut Flowers, Devil’s Blush, giant protea, Gypsy Red, heavy soil, hedging, Jolly Joker, King Protea, leucadendron, Leucadendron Amy, Leucadendron Joy, Leucadendron laureolum, Leucadendron laureolum hybrid, Leucadendron laureolum x salignum, Leucadendron salignum, Leucadendron salignum x discolor, Leucadendron salignum x laureolum, Leucadendron Winter Gold, leucospermum, Leucospermum cordifolium x glabrum, Leucospermum x conocarpodendron, Lime Magic, Mardi Gras Ribbons, mass planting, Pink Mink, pot plant, Pretty in Pink, Protea compacta hybrid, Protea cynaroides, Protea Little Prince, Protea neriifolia, Protea neriifolia x susannae, Protea Special Pink Ice, Protea Stately, Proteas, Safari Sunset, Serruria, Serruria florida x rosea, Sixteen Candles, Special Pink Ice, Yellow Devil

Proteas have existed for over 300 million years, making them one of the oldest groups of flowering plants in the world. Despite their ancient roots, they look beautifully modern in any garden. They’re also low care, make great cut flowers, are bird attracting and share the same care needs as our own Aussie natives. Discover the most popular protea varieties as well as their South African cousins – leucadendrons, leucospermum and serruria – below.

 

Protea

Protea Australis Ruby

Protea neriifolia

A compact protea with bright red flowers fringed with black. Perfect for pots and smaller gardens. Plant as a feature, shape into a low hedge or mass plant for a stunning effect.

King Protea

Protea cynaroides

Also known as giant protea, king protea is the biggest and most reliable variety. It’s wide, bowl-shaped flowers appear from mid-winter to early summer.

Protea Little Prince

Protea cynaroides

If you don’t have space for a king protea, the next best thing is a Little Prince, a compact king protea variety. It’s great for smaller gardens or pots and it flowers year round.

proteas
Left to right: Australis Ruby, King Protea, Little Prince

Protea Pink Mink

Protea neriifolia

From the south coast of Africa’s Cape region, slender, elegant pink flowers appear from autumn to spring. Beautifully offsetting the pink bracts are furry, feather-like tips, which are edged in black, giving them the appearance of the being dipped in black paint.

Protea Special Pink Ice

Protea neriifolia x susannae

The spectacular pink blooms of this hybrid cultivar make it one of the world’s most popular cut flowers. The flowers feature silvery-white fringed bracts, giving them a frosted appearance. It’s also the hardiest of all proteas.

Protea Stately

Protea compacta hybrid

A handsome protea variety that reveals beautiful deep pink winter blooms. Protea Stately is ideal as a hedge and doesn’t mind coastal and heavy soil gardens.

Proteas
Left to right: Pink Mink, Special Pink Ice, Protea Stately

Leucadendron

Leucadendron Winter Gold

Leucadendron laureolum

Light up your garden in the depths of winter with a mass of beautiful, bright yellow flowers. This variety will also thrive in coastal and heavy soil gardens and is great for hedging.

Leucadendron Amy

Leucadendron salignum x laureolum

This compact leucadendron will add not one but two eye-catching colours to your garden. Rosy bracts on long stems in early autumn are followed by creamy bracts in early spring.

Leucadendron Safari Sunset

Leucadendron laureolum hybrid

This magnificent leucadendron hybrid has been perfected to be compact and fast-growing. Its red stems and deep-green leaves tinged with red are complemented by big, showy, vivid red bracts in autumn and winter.

proteas
Left to right: Leucadendron Winter Gold, Leucadendron Amy, Leucadendron Safari Sunset

Leucadendron Gypsy Red

Leucadendron salignum

With its dense growth habit, Gypsy Red is ideal for hedging or screening. In autumn and winter, its long-lasting fiery foliage will set your garden ablaze with colour.

Leucadendron Yellow Devil

Leucadendron salignum

Yellow Devil’s foliage starts off as golden new growth before turning green and is offset by a brilliant mass display of stunning yellow, daisy-like flower bracts from autumn to spring.

Leucadendron Sixteen Candles

Leucadendron salignum x discolor

A spectacular variety perfect for pots and small gardens, with a wonderful display of changing colours. In winter, the crimson bracts reveal shade shades of creamy-pink and apricot.

proteas
Left to right: Leucadendron Gypsy Red, Leucadendron Yellow Devil, Leucadendron Sixteen Candles

Leucadendron Devil’s Blush

Leucadendron salignum

This low-growing, compact leucadendron makes a great border, hedge and pot plant. The blue-grey foliage turns crimson from autumn until spring and beautiful burgundy flower bracts appear from winter to spring.

Leucadendron Lime Magic

Leucadendron salignum x discolor

A beautiful upright shrub with creamy white flowers in late winter to early spring and brilliant lime-green foliage.

proteas
Left to right: Leucadendron Devil’s Blush, Leucadendron Lime Magic

Leucadendron Joy

Leucadendron laureolum hybrid

With its striking orange-bronze winter colour, this plant will light up your garden during the coldest months.

Leucadendron Jolly Joker

Leucadendron laureolum x salignum

This variegated variety is a blaze of colour in autumn and winter with its stunning bright red and green tipped foliage. Looks fantastic when mass planted or mixed with other leucadendrons.

proteas
Left to right: Leucadendron Joy, Leucadendron Jolly Joker

 

Leucospermum

Leucospermum Mardi Gras Ribbons

Leucospermum x conocarpodendron

This variety will put on a show in spring with its golden flower heads, slightly feathery bracts and red ribbons. Ideal for pots and coastal areas. Click to learn more about leucospermum.

Allegro

Leucospermum cordifolium x glabrum

This attractive leucospermum is bright and lively, combining orange to red flowers in spring with silver-grey foliage. Click to learn more about leucospermum.

proteas
Left to right: Leucospermum Mardi Gras Ribbons, Leucospermum Allegro

Serruria

Pretty in Pink

Serruria florida x rosea

A lovely hybrid with long-lasting flowers and needle-like foliage. Perfect for growing in pots. If potted up and when in bloom, you can even bring it inside to enjoy in your home for a couple of days.

proteas
Serruria Pretty in Pink

 

Want to know more about growing proteas? Read Jennifer Stackhouse’s article here.

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Klaudyna Kyros

Klaudyna Kyros