ONE TOUGH FLOWER
You can find the king protea all the way from the Cedarberg in the Western Cape to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, from sea level to 1 500m above it. Because of the different conditions across this vast area king proteas’ flowering time, size and colour can vary.
Its tough, leathery leaves protect it during the dry, hot summers and wet, cold winters. It also has a large, long taproot that reaches deep underground to extract moisture from the soil for the plant.
But that’s not all it can withstand. Its thick underground stem contains dormant buds, which can help the plant survive wildfires. Even if most of the plant has been burnt away, it will grow back from these underground buds.