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Proteas are among Africa's most spectacular flowers. The plants grow as medium sized shrubs and put out huge blooms the size of a saucer. They are especially favored by interior designers who use them in dramatic floral arrangements such as you see in hotel lobbies. The flowers last a long time too—keeping their color long after many other flowers have withered.

(These specimens identified from photographs by Gerald Pope and Dick Brummitt, Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England.)

Click below to see the photos and information on proteas:

pink protea

white protea


Photo of protea at Nyika

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I saw this pink protea growing by the roadside at the edge of brachystegia forest near the entrance to the Nyika National Park, Malawi. The species is Protea angolensis Welw. var. trichanthera (Bak.) Brummitt.

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Photo of white protea at Nyika

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This white protea is most likely Protea madiensis Oliv. It is a little smaller than the pink species pictured above.

Learn about protea natural history

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