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+5 The Protea Circle of relatives (Proteaceae)

+48The Protea Circle of relatives (Proteaceae)

The protea circle of relatives (Proteaceae) comprises quite a lot of floor covers, bushes and shrubs that continuously make excellent lawn crops. Whilst probably the most species are frost-tender, they’re in all different respects remarkably resilient crops that continuously thrive in eventualities the place others would swiftly succumb. Deficient soils and scorching dry positions that scarcely appear able to supporting lifestyles are continuously very best for Proteaceae. If any crops might be stated to thrive on forget the proteas can.

Proteas (the time period is continuously used jointly in addition to for the genus itself) are a variable staff. Certainly, the circle of relatives used to be named after Proteus, a Greek god able to converting his form at will. It comprises some 60 genera and 1400 species of Southern Hemisphere crops, the majority of which might be local to southern Africa and Australia with the remaining coming from South The usa and most of the Pacific islands, together with two species (Knightia excelsa and Toronia toru) from New Zealand.

There is a gigantic number of foliage some of the proteas. It’s virtually all the time evergreen, however is also needle-like, as with many grevilleas; lengthy, slim and serrated like that of Dryandra formosa; or rounded and leathery just like the leaves of Protea cynaroides. Some genera, specifically Leucadendron, come with species with brightly colored foliage, the depth of which varies with the season. Leucadendron stems retain their color for weeks when reduce and are crucial a part of the reduce flower business.

Protea plant life are composed of clusters of slim tubes which might be continuously curved. Those ‘spider’ plant life are noticed at their most simple within the two local species and probably the most grevilleas. In lots of instances what seems to be the flower is in fact a bract of brightly colored leaves surrounding the actual plant life. Probably the most spectacular instance of that is the dinner plate-sized flower head of Protea cynaroides. The flowering season additionally varies; many proteas and grevilleas flower in wintry weather, whilst leucospermums generally tend to flower in summer time. With cautious variety it’s conceivable to crops in flower all yr spherical.

The plant life continuously comprise massive amounts of nectar that many birds relish. Some species have very sticky plant life that can lure visiting bugs, particularly bees an this somewhat sinister facet of the flower seems to serve no explicit goal.

The South African and Australian Proteaceae have a tendency to be at their superb in heat, dry prerequisites and continuously thrive in coastal spaces. Inland, unseasonable early and past due frosts continuously kill all however the hardiest specimens. The South American genera have a tendency to be hardier and like relatively damper prerequisites. Embothrium specifically, can resist onerous frosts and is grown over many of the nation. However the place wintry weather temperatures often drop to -6°C or decrease, maximum proteas require frost coverage.


Instead of an acceptable local weather, the important thing to good fortune with proteas is setting up the precise soil prerequisites. The protea circle of relatives is basically tailored to mineral primarily based soils that drain in no time and which continuously have low nutrient ranges. Those soils have a tendency to be rather acid and are continuously particularly low in phosphates.

Excellent drainage is basically crucial. Wealthy loams and heavy clays are not making just right protea soils. You probably have a heavy soil don’t attempt to give a boost to it via including sand or shingle as this may continuously make the issue worse; the soil binds with the sand and shingle and units like concrete. As an alternative upload extra humus. Proteas would no longer admire the fast burst of vitamins from a wealthy compost so the humus used will have to be relatively low in vitamins. Herbal leaf mildew and rotted pine needles paintings nicely. To steer clear of those fabrics compacting down right into a deficient draining thatch, incorporate about 50% effective shingle grit via quantity and mix the combo with the present soil.

Maximum proteaceous crops come from spaces with low rainfall or the place the rains are strictly seasonal. Many are coastal crops despite the fact that many of the South African genera come with alpine or sub-alpine species. Knightia from New Zealand and Embothrium from Chile are exceptions; they most often happen clear of the coast, in spaces the place rainfall is slightly top and no longer seasonal. However, they nonetheless call for superb drainage.

Even supposing proteas are remarkably resilient and no longer tough to develop there appears to be some commonplace myths relating to their cultivation. Like maximum myths those have some foundation if truth be told, however they may be able to be deceptive.

Fable 1: feeding proteas will kill them.

That is not strictly true. Proteas want vitamins identical to another plant, however their are slightly extra exacting than some. It isn’t fertiliser that does the wear and tear however top phosphate ranges and intense bursts of vitamins that result in overly fast expansion. Keep away from maximum basic lawn fertilisers, contemporary animal manures and the rest with added superphosphate. As a result of proteas will tolerate deficient soils, it’s continuously more straightforward to not feed them reasonably than chance harm, however you can surely recover effects in the event you follow a sluggish liberate, low phosphate fertiliser in past due wintry weather and mid summer time. This may increasingly stay the crops rising slowly however incessantly; any bolting into expansion has a tendency to weaken them.

Fable 2: proteas handiest develop close to the coast.

No longer true. Many proteaceous crops come from inland spaces. They are going to tolerate salt breezes however there is not any basic choice for coastal prerequisites.

Fable 3: proteas like wind.

That is additionally no longer fully true. Proteaceous crops don’t tolerate rainy foliage or top humidity for lengthy sessions and in spaces susceptible to those prerequisites further air flow will assist cut back the occurrence of fungal sicknesses. On the other hand, maximum proteas have brittle branches that snap or cut up in robust winds so there is not any explanation why to presume that they like windy places.

Fable 4: proteas desire a scorching sunny place.

Sure, maximum Proteaceae desire complete solar or one thing almost about it. However that does not essentially imply the freshest, maximum baked place you’ll be able to in finding. Even supposing they’re going to live to tell the tale serious prerequisites as soon as established, excessive warmth and drought will purpose harm, particularly to younger crops. Coloration from the freshest solar will lengthen the flower show and, supplied the drainage is just right, occasional deep watering may be really helpful.

Fable 5: proteas are short-lived.

Some are and a few are not. Previous crops are typically got rid of lengthy prior to the top in their herbal lives as a result of they have a tendency to turn out to be reasonably woody and untidy. You’ll typically reckon on an invaluable life of no less than Eight years for Leucadendron and Leucospermum, and round 12 years for Protea. On the other hand, massive species, equivalent to Grevillea robusta and Banksia integrifolia, would possibly proceed to be efficient lawn crops for a number of a long time.


Maximum proteaceous crops are bought in boxes and are waiting to plant immediately. On the other hand, the finest planting time relies on your local weather. Autumn or wintry weather is superb in delicate spaces as that is when moisture necessities are at their lowest, whilst spring is the most popular time if common frosts are anticipated as this permits the younger crops to get better established prior to having to bear wintry weather prerequisites.

Get started via digging a hollow no less than two times the scale of the plant’s container, this huge quantity of free soil will inspire just right root building.. Further drainage subject material can also be added to the opening if vital, differently planting is only a topic of eliminating the plant from its container, loosening any spiralling roots prior to hanging within the hollow, then refilling the opening and toning the plant into place. Massive specimens would require staking to stop wind harm.

Reduce flower use

Many proteaceous crops make superb long-lasting reduce plant life. Leucadendrons specifically are broadly planted only for the aim of offering subject material for floral decorations. Protea, Leucospermum, Banksia and Serruria plant life can all be used to make spectacular massive preparations whilst the fewer dramatic blooms of Grevillea and Isopogon are higher suited for extra dainty paintings.

Some plant life, specifically goblet-shaped Protea plant life dry nicely despite the fact that they do generally tend to fall apart reasonably all of sudden after a couple of months. Different genera equivalent to Banksia and Leucadendron produce seed heads or cones that can be utilized in dried preparations.


Maximum proteaceous crops want occasional trimming and tidying. This can be to give a boost to their expansion dependancy or to take away outdated plant life or seed heads that experience turn out to be dry and ugly.

How some distance to reduce is the standard query. This varies with the genera, despite the fact that more often than not handiest gentle pruning is really helpful as there’s a basic reluctance amongst proteas to reshoot from naked picket. Of the average genera Banksia and Grevillea will resist onerous trimming, as will Leucadendron, Telopea and Mimetes, however pruning of Dryandra, Leucospermum, Serruria, Paranomus and maximum Protea species will have to be limited to a mild annual trimming.

The most productive time to prune is most often right away after flowering except you wish to have to go away a couple of seed heads to mature to be used as dried decorations. In spaces the place there may be the opportunity of frost harm, it’s essential to depart pruning autumn and winter-flowering crops till spring.

Container Rising

Some proteaceae could make just right container crops, however you’ll have to watch out together with your collection of potting mixes and fertilisers. Potting mixes want to be very unfastened draining and continuously have the benefit of added coarse subject material equivalent to shingle chips or pumice. Bark primarily based mixes appear to paintings nicely however some growers really feel they produce an excessive amount of ethylene, which would possibly hurt the crops ultimately. Many industrial growers use soil primarily based mixes and so they typically desire somewhat deficient and gritty volcanic soils.

Even crops with low nutrient calls for will in the end exhaust their potting combine, so you’ll have to follow fertiliser on occasion. Use delicate liquid fertilisers or particular low-phosphate sluggish liberate pellets. Supplied you’re wary the crops will have to reply nicely.


Proteas can also be frustratingly tough crops to propagate. Contemporary seed continuously germinates nicely just for the seedlings to cave in after a couple of weeks. That is most often because of a fungal illness that blackens the foliage and in the end kills the younger seedlings. Common fungicide packages are necessary. Prick out the younger seedlings into a rough, unfastened draining, unfertilised potting combine as soon as they’ve their first true leaves.

Cultivars and decided on bureaucracy should be propagated vegetatively. The standard approach is company semi-ripe cuttings in past due summer time and autumn. The good fortune charge varies markedly; some cultivars, equivalent to Leucadendron ‘Safari Sundown’, strike slightly simply whilst many others is also just about not possible with out skilled apparatus.

Pests and Sicknesses

Grown beneath the precise prerequisites proteaceous crops are somewhat freed from pests and sicknesses, or reasonably they are no longer attacked via the rest out of the bizarre. Probably the most common issues are leaf curler caterpillars and scale bugs, which is able to in the end result in sooty mildew.

When rising proteas from seed you are going to without doubt lose some to the fungal illness discussed above. This illness, which seems to be one of those damping off, can every now and then additionally assault extra mature crops. It sounds as if to be some distance worse in excessively rainy prerequisites or after lengthy sessions of top humidity. Excellent air flow and avoidance of overcrowding are efficient preventatives and common spraying with fungicides would possibly regulate the issue.

Not unusual genera

Many of those crops aren’t broadly to be had at lawn centres, despite the fact that specialist growers would believe them to be simply the most typical genera and are more likely to inventory others as nicely. All the species and genera lined listed below are evergreen except differently said.


This can be a South African genus of small to medium sized shrubs. This genus and Leucadendron are the one dioecious (separate female and male crops) individuals of the Proteaceae. Seed of all 3 species, Aulax cancellata, Aulax pallasia and Aulax umbellata, is to be had however handiest Aulax cancellata is frequently planted. It grows to at least one.5-2m &occasions; 1m and has effective needle-like leaves. In spring, feminine crops produce pink edged yellow plant life that become pink seed cones. The catkin-like male plant life are yellow, as are the ones of Aulax pallasia and Aulax umbellata, the feminine plant life of which aren’t very showy. Aulax pallasia grows to about Three m and Aulax umbellata about 1.5m. All are hardy to about -5°C and are most often raised from seed.


An Australian genus of about 60 species, ranging in dimension from floor covers to medium-sized bushes. The flowering season is essentially from past due wintry weather to past due spring and maximum species have cylindrical cone-like flower heads composed of densely packed filamentous kinds radiating from a central core. Creamy yellow to gentle golden-yellow is the principal color vary, despite the fact that a couple of species, equivalent to Banksia ericifolia and Banksia praemorsa, have golden-orange plant life and the ones of Banksia coccinea are pink. Maximum species have slim serrated leaves which might be mid to deep inexperienced above and silvery gray at the undersides however Banksia ericifolia has effective needle-like leaves. Leaf dimension varies from very small as much as the 50cm lengthy leaves of Banksia grandis. Hardiness varies with the species, some are slightly frost soft however some will tolerate -10°C.

Fairly few are noticed in nurseries however the seed of maximum species can also be bought from Australia. Banksia ericifolia and Banksia integrifolia are essentially the most broadly grown and also are the hardiest of the average species, each withstanding -10°C as soon as nicely established. There are hardly ever any cultivars or decided on types of Banksia in cultivation. Species is also raised from seed and maximum may also strike slightly freely from semi-ripe cuttings.


An Australian genus of round 60 species of shrubs ranging in top from about 1-Four m. Maximum have slim, mid to deep inexperienced leaves which might be continuously very lengthy and slim with sharply toothed edges. The rounded flower heads, which seem from mid wintry weather, are most often gentle to vivid yellow. The most typical species is Dryandra formosa, which grows to about 3m and is hardy to round -5°C as soon as established (many of the different species are much less hardy). Dryandras are excellent long-lasting reduce plant life and a few may also dry nicely. They are going to develop on extraordinarily deficient soil and typically react badly to maximum fertilisers. Lift from seed or semi-ripe cuttings, which might be continuously tough to strike.


The Chilean Fireplace Bush (Embothrium coccineum) is a small tree round 5m &occasions; 2.5m. It has 100mm lengthy, leathery, vivid inexperienced leaves that can turn out to be relatively sparse on older crops. In mid to past due spring the tree turns bright orange-red because the honeysuckle-like tubular plant life open – the flowering season is short however impressive. Two bureaucracy are grown: ‘Longifolium’ and ‘Lanceolatum’; ‘Longifolium’ is the extra commonplace cultivar. This can be a lively upright plant this is slightly drought tolerant and hardy to about -10°C. ‘Lanceolatum’ is a stockier grower with slim leaves. It calls for extra moisture however withstands tougher frosts, as much as -15°C with some coverage. On the other hand, in very chilly winters it’s going to lose as much as two thirds of its foliage. General Embothrium calls for extra moisture than maximum Proteaceae however just right drainage remains to be necessary. It can be grown from seed however is most often propagated via semi-ripe cuttings.


With some 250 species, that is the biggest of the Australian proteaceous genera. Lots of the commonplace lawn species and cultivars are floor covers to medium-sized shrubs (as much as 3m) with needle-like foliage. On the other hand, some species are some distance better. The silky oak (Grevillea robusta), which is continuously noticed in delicate house, can develop to 20m and in commonplace with many of the better species it has massive pinnate leaves. Grevillea banksii has equivalent foliage however handiest grows to about 3.5m &occasions; 3m.

The extra densely foliaged crops, particularly Grevillea juniperina and Grevillea rosmarinifolia, are continuously used as hedging crops. Those crops develop to no less than 1.5m top.

Grevillea plant life are continuously describe as ‘spider plant life’. This refers back to the kinds of a few species, which generally tend to radiate from the centre like a spider’s legs. Some species have ‘toothbrush’ plant life; the kinds are all on one facet just like the bristles of a toothbrush. The most productive identified instance of this sort of flower is the average red-flowered cultivar ‘Robin Hood’.

Many Grevillea cultivars are cultivated and so they typically adapt nicely to lawn prerequisites. Some of the extra widespread are ‘Jenkinsii’ (a heavy flowering type of the red-flowered Grevillea rosmarinifolia), ‘Robyn Gordon’ (orange-red to pink toothbrush plant life) &occasions;gaudichaudii (deep pink), ‘Austraflora Canterbury Gold’ (gentle golden yellow) and most of the Poorinda cultivars. Grevilleas are some of the extra broadly to be had proteaceous crops and maximum nurseries inventory a sensible choice.

The species and hybrids range drastically in hardiness. Some will stand very little frost however others, equivalent to Grevillea rosmarinifolia, will tolerate frosts of -10°C or decrease; all desire complete solar with just right drainage. The species are simply raised from seed and maximum hybrids strike slightly freely from semi-ripe cuttings taken in past due summer time or autumn.


This Australian genus comprises about 130 species, few of which might be broadly cultivated. The most typical is most probably Hakea laurina, the Pincushion Hakea. When no longer in flower, this species may simply be improper for a small eucalyptus. It has bluish-green slim, rectangular to sickle-shaped leaves and reddish-brown bark. It grows to about 6m &occasions; 4m and mature bushes have a somewhat weeping dependancy. The title pincushion refers back to the plant life, which might be round, with a large number of radiating kinds. They seem in past due autumn and early wintry weather, opening cream and turning to orange and pink as they age. This shrub is hardy to about -5°C as soon as nicely established and is well grown in maximum well-drained soils.

Of the opposite species, the most typical are Hakea salicifolia, Hakea prostrata and Hakea sericea. They’re hardy to about -8°C or somewhat decrease and are simply grown in maximum soils. Hakea salicifolia has slim, willow-like leaves, spidery, white plant life which might be produced in spring. It grows as much as 5m top and can tolerate deficient drainage. Hakea prostrata and Hakea sericea have effective needle-like leaves and white or faded purple plant life in wintry weather and early spring. It grows to about 3m &occasions; 2m. All member of this genus are most often raised from seed however some can also be grown from cuttings. A couple of, equivalent to H. franciscana, are vulnerable growers that continuously carry out higher when grafted onto extra lively shares, equivalent to Hakea salicifolia.


Drumsticks, which refers back to the form of the flower stems and unopened buds, is a reputation continuously used for Isopogon anemonifolius nevertheless it will also be carried out to the genus as an entire. It’s an Australian genus of 34 species of small to medium sized shrubs, maximum of which develop from 1-2m top and about as broad. They have got a choice for deficient however well-drained soil and can temporarily cave in if over-watered or overfed. Maximum species have slim lanceolate leaves about 75mm lengthy and a few, equivalent to the average Isopogon anemonifolius, have finely reduce foliage paying homage to Marguerite daisy or Anemone leaves.

The flower heads, which open in spring and early summer time, are composed of a central cone from which radiate a large number of kinds. Some species have quick stiff kinds however in others they’re lengthy and filamentous. The flower colors are basically white, yellow or purple. The 2 most generally grown species, Isopogon anemonifolius and Isopogon anethifolius are hardy to about -5°C, however many species, equivalent to Isopogon cuneatus and the temptingly stunning purple and yellow-flowered Isopogon latifolius, are broken at temperatures under -2°C. Isopogon species are most often raised from seed.


The Rewa Rewa or New Zealand Honeysuckle (Knightia excelsa) is the finest identified of the 2 New Zealand proteaceous species. Within the wild it could turn out to be a tall slim tree as much as 25m top and it is among the few proteaceous crops to were harvested for its bushes, which may be very attractively marked. In gardens it’s extra restrained and infrequently exceeds 8m &occasions; 3.5m. Rewa rewa has semi-glossy, deep inexperienced to bronze-green, slim, lanceolate to rectangular leaves which might be very difficult and leathery. In summer time it produces tubular honeysuckle-like plant life that expand from buds lined in a reddish brown tomentum. Because the plant life open the tomentum lined sepals and the petals curl again to shape a congested mass within the centre of the flower head. The plant life, which is able to scent unsightly, are adopted via conspicuous brown, velvety seed pods. Rewa Rewa is well grown in wet well-drained soil in solar or partial colour and is hardy to about -5°C or somewhat decrease as soon as established. It can be grown in any coastal house if safe when younger. New Zealand honeysuckle is most often raised from seed and lawn centres continuously inventory ready-grown crops.


Species of this genus are essentially the most broadly grown of the South African Proteaceae and lots of are valued for the iconic qualities in their flower bracts as soon as reduce. Maximum are medium-sized shrubs round 1-2.5m top. On the other hand, one of the most superb identified species, the silver tree (Leucadendron argenteum), can develop to 10m top and the fewer broadly grown Leucadendron eucalyptifolium would possibly succeed in 5m.

Many species and cultivars are grown, however one of the broadly planted is ‘Safari Sundown’. This can be a hybrid between Leucadendron laureolum and Leucadendron salignum and is relatively standard of the genus. It has slim, lanceolate leaves which might be as much as 100mm lengthy. Some species, equivalent to L. argenteum, have tomentose foliage however ‘Safari Sundown’ does no longer. The upward-facing foliage densely covers the slim, upright branches and develops deep pink tints on the flowering pointers. Deep pink leaf bracts enclose the flower cones. Because the insignificant plant life close to adulthood, the bracts turn out to be intensely colored. ‘Safari Sundown’ has pink bracts however others expand cream, yellow, purple or orange tones. ‘Wilson’s Surprise’ (yellow and orange-red), ‘Maui Sundown’ (cream, yellow and pink) and ‘Rewa Gold’ (yellow) are some of the maximum impressive. Leucadendrons typically expand their superb colors from mid to past due wintry weather however ‘Jester’ a purple, cream and inexperienced variegated recreation of ‘Safari Sundown’ is brightly colored right through the yr.

The species and hybrids range significantly in hardiness however maximum will tolerate frosts of no less than -3°C supplied they’ve just right drainage and the humidity isn’t over the top. ‘Safari Sundown’ is hardy to about -8°C and many of the a large number of Leucadendron salignum and Leucadendron laureolum hybrids are just about as hardy. Within the North Island leucadendrons typically thrive in all however the coldest central spaces and they may be able to be grown with various levels of good fortune in all coastal spaces of the South Island.

Leucadendrons can also be difficult to propagate. Rather company cuttings taken in early autumn are most often the very best to strike however gardeners with out specialized propagating amenities would possibly enjoy issues and despite the fact that seed germinates nicely, it’s prone to damp off. Lawn centres continuously inventory a just right vary of crops.


A South African genus of about 50 species, maximum of which might be medium to huge shrubs that develop to about 1.5-3m top. Some, equivalent to Leucospermum reflexum, have strongly upright expansion conduct however maximum, together with the frequently cultivated species, Leucospermum cordifolium, are dense and furry. Either one of those species have tomentose greyish-green leaves which might be most often extensively oval formed, continuously with small red-tipped lobes. The leaves of Leucospermum reflexum are narrower and greyer than the ones of Leucospermum cordifolium. Leucospermum reflexum can develop to 3m &occasions; 3m however Leucospermum cordifolium is most often round 1.5m &occasions; 1.5m.

The plant life are variously described as Catherine wheels, pincushions and sky rockets, all of which confer with the a large number of radiating kinds. Those are continuously incurved, making a cupped impact. The flower heads of Leucospermum cordifolium are slightly globular whilst the ones of Leucospermum reflexum have drooping kinds on the base of the flower. The plant life most often seem in past due spring and proceed for roughly two months. They’re horny when contemporary however continuously turn out to be ugly when they die off.

Maximum lawn leucospermums are cultivars of Leucospermum cordifolium and are hardy to occasional frosts of about -5°C, however they resent rainy or humid wintry weather prerequisites, which is able to continuously result in tip die again. Excellent drainage may be crucial. Cuttings taken in early autumn are the in all probability to strike however with out correct apparatus they’ll turn out tough and seed continuously germinates nicely handiest to be killed via fungal sicknesses. Gritty well-drained soil, common fungicide use and simply sufficient water to stay the seedlings status up are the keys to good fortune. The orange-flowered ‘Harry Chittick’ is the plant maximum frequently stocked via nurseries and it’s one who plays really well.


This South African genus comprises 11 species, handiest one in every of which is broadly grown. Mimetes cucullatus has 40mm lengthy rectangular leaves with small lobes on the pointers, that densely duvet the branches like upward dealing with scales. The small white plant life are enclosed inside leaf bracts that fluctuate color to a vivid pink because the flower buds mature. Mimetes would possibly flower right through the yr however is most often at its superb in past due spring when the brand new expansion seems, as this may be pink. Mimetes cucullatus grows to about 1.5m &occasions; 1.5m and is hardy to round -3°C. It prefers wet, well-drained soil and isn’t very drought tolerant. This species is most often raised from seed.


The most typical species of this 18-species genus, Paranomus reflexus, is an undemanding 1.5m &occasions; 1.8m bush with vivid yellow bottle-brush-like flower heads in wintry weather and spring. The foliage is anemone-like and really finely reduce; the flower stems have small diamond formed leaves slightly below the flower heads. It’s simply grown in any well-drained soil in complete solar. Even supposing the plant is hardy to about -5°C, the plant life are broken via frosts over -2°C. It’s most often raised from seed.


An Australian genus of round 75 species of shrubs, most commonly beneath 2 m tall and a few slightly small. Referred to as geebungs, via some distance the best-known species is the Pine-leaf Geebung (Persoonia pinifolia), an jap Australian local that is among the better species, able to attaining Three m tall. It has a weeping dependancy, effective needle-like leaves and small yellow plant life. Maximum geebungs will tolerate about 2 to five°C of frost.


Protea is a genus of about 80 species this is confined to southern Africa and concentrated across the Cape of Excellent Hope. The species differ in size from lower than 50cm top to over 4m. Maximum frequently grown proteas are small to medium sized shrubs within the 1-2.5m top vary.

The most productive identified species is Protea neriifolia. It has slim leaves as much as 150mm lengthy which might be lined with a effective tomentum when younger. In autumn, wintry weather and spring, upright, 125mm lengthy &occasions; 75mm broad goblet-shaped plant life are carried on the pointers of the branches. They’re composed of a woolly central cone surrounded via overlapping, upward-facing, petal-like, deep reddish-pink bracts tipped with a edge of black hairs. Many bureaucracy with various colors of bract and tip hairs are grown. A number of different species, equivalent to Protea magnifica and Protea laurifolia, have equivalent plant life.

The central cone, continuously with many incurving kinds, is commonplace to all Protea species however the association of the bracts varies. Many have them organized in a stellate or star-shaped model. The King Protea (Protea cynaroides) is the finest identified of this kind. Its plant life can also be as much as 300mm in diameter. The plant life of the king protea face upwards however others, equivalent to greenish-yellow-flowered Protea sulphurea, have downward dealing with plant life.

The foliage may be variable. It can be needle-like, as in Protea nana, lanceolate, rectangular or rounded. It may be silvery gray, glaucous or vivid inexperienced relying at the species and it’s going to or might not be tomentose.

Likewise, hardiness varies significantly. Maximum species will tolerate no less than -3°C with just right drainage and occasional humidity however many are significantly harder. Protea neriifolia will resist -5°C and Protea grandiceps will continuously live to tell the tale -10°C when nicely established. Proteas do nicely over many of the North Island and lots of species can also be grown as some distance south as Christchurch with slightly wintry weather coverage.

Protea species are continuously raised from seed, which germinates nicely, however the seedlings is also tough to stay alive. Hybrids and cultivars should be propagated vegetatively. The standard approach is company semi-ripe cuttings taken in past due summer time and autumn. Specialist growers inventory many species and cultivars whilst lawn centres seldom have the rest instead of the most typical crops.


Blushing Bride (Serruria florida) may be very well-liked by florists as a result of its Nigella-like papery white bracts are very subtle and closing nicely as reduce plant life. The bracts, which might be surrounded with finely reduce lacy leaves, are produced freely in wintry weather and spring. Blushing Bride can also be tough to develop, as a result of no longer handiest is it frost soft (it tolerates handiest occasional publicity to -2°C), it should even have complete solar and completely best possible drainage. It’s one in every of a genus of 44 species from South Africa, of which the one different species frequently grown is Serruria rosea. This can be a densely foliaged 70cm &occasions; 90cm bush with small purple bracts and is somewhat hardier and for sure more straightforward to develop than Serruria florida. Serruria species will have to be raised from seed.


The Queensland Firewheel Tree (Stenocarpus sinuata) is a big tree (12m &occasions; 8m) that produces an impressive show of orange to pink plant life in summer time. It has massive, smooth, darkish inexperienced leaves which might be deeply lobed. The plant life are tubular and are carried in flattened clusters that radiate spoke-like from a central hub, therefore the title firewheel tree. It’s hardy to about -4°C as soon as nicely established however may be very soft when younger and does superb in wet well-drained soil in complete solar. Stenocarpus salignus is a species with lengthy, slim leaves and cream plant life. It’s smaller and hardier than Stenocarpus sinuata. Stenocarpus is most often raised from seed.


Natives of Australia, the waratah genus comprises simply 4 species. The New South Wales waratah (Telopea speciosissima), which is the only maximum frequently grown has rectangular, finely serrated leaves which might be as much as 125mm lengthy with small notches or lobes on the pointers. It develops into a big shrub or small tree as much as 5m &occasions; 5m. The plant life, which might be produced in spring and carried on the pointers of the branches, are impressively massive, vivid pink, and composed of a large number of incurving kinds surrounded via pink foliage bracts. A number of cultivars, such because the semi-dwarf ‘Woodland Fireplace’ (2m &occasions; 2m) are relatively frequently to be had. The ‘Victorian Waratah’ (Telopea oreades) is the same plant with somewhat lighter colored leaves and plant life. Either one of those species and the cultivars are hardy to round -8°C.

Waratahs desire wet well-drained soil in complete solar and as soon as established they require little care. However many die throughout the preliminary established order length. That is most likely because of crucial mycorrhiza failing to ascertain. Those minute fungi shape a symbiotic dating with the crops’ roots and are important within the uptake of vitamins. It’s been recommended that taking soil from round a longtime waratah and hanging it round new crops would possibly assist reduce those established order difficulties. Waratahs is also raised from seed or semi-ripe cuttings however they’re tough to boost. Some good fortune has been accomplished with tissue tradition and that is how probably the most new cultivars are produced.


The only species on this genus is the lesser identified of the 2 New Zealand proteaceous species. Previously indexed as Persoonia toru, it is referred to now as Toronia toru. A small furry tree that may develop to about 9m &occasions; 5m, it’s most often some distance smaller in gardens. The slim, lanceolate olive inexperienced to bronze leaves are about 100mm lengthy however would possibly develop to over 150mm on mature bushes in sheltered websites. The buff colored starry plant life, which seem in past due wintry weather and early spring, are carried in racemes and expand from golden brown felted buds. It’s simply grown in any wet well-drained soil in complete solar or partial colour and is hardy to about -8°C as soon as established. Toronia toru is a somewhat unspectacular plant however its plant life are pleasantly honey-scented and it’s fascinating as a result of it’s one in every of our extra atypical natives. This species is also grown from cuttings, however as they’re most often tough to strike, seed is the most popular approach.


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