Not many people outside the floral industry are familiar with the protea. It is an over sized flower indigenous to South Africa. It is said that the protea was named after the Greek god Proteus. Proteus had the ability to change his form at will, and because the protea comes in countless sizes and shapes, this name is most fitting. Sometimes referred to as a sugarbush, 92% of all protea grow naturally within the Cape Floristic Region in the southern tip of South Africa. The protea family is over 300 million years old.
As floral designers, we love this flower for 3 reasons: beauty, longevity, and uniqueness. When we include a protea in a flower order, we always get asked “what is this flower?”. Adding a protea to a design transforms a piece instantly into something out of the ordinary. Their beauty never go unnoticed. And did we mention that they last a really long time? They even look amazing when the are dried.
Protea are now widely grown in California, as well as Australia / South Africa / New Zealand, so they are available virtually year round because of their opposite seasons. Protea can range in diameter from a tennis ball to a basketball, with prices of $10-$50 a stem. Have a peek at some fun varieties we have captured recently.