All About Protea – History, Meaning, Facts, Care & More

Protea is South Africa’s national flower. It comes in many shapes, colors, and sizes. Though significantly important in South Africa, this type of plant is actually available all over the world and is being adored by many people in plenty of different places.


Protea Origins

Its history only suggests that protea’s beauty never gets out style despite the test of time. The flower is believed to have a history dated back 300 million years ago. It is considered as one of the oldest families of blossoms one can find on earth. Studies suggest that protea is a genus that is originally from the continent of Gondwana. Scientists have a theory that the reason why it went all the sides of the planet is because of the splitting of the continent. Due to that, it crossed from one country to another until it became famous from all sides of the globe.


Where did Protea get its name?

During the 1700s, the father of taxonomy and botanist, Carl Linnaeus, gave its name. The name protea is taken from the name Proteus of Greek Mythology. Proteus accord to myths is the son of Poseidon and is believed to be a shape-shifter. If you have not noticed yet, proteas come in different varieties and forms. What you will find in the Proteaceae family are numerous forms and varieties of proteas. In this family, proteas are of different shapes and sizes. There are proteas that can form like a tree or can crawl like shrubs. Counted to have at most 1500 species, it is not impossible why protea got its name from a shape-shifting mythological person.


Where is this found?

There is no possible reason to deny why it cannot be found in South Africa. Despite being South Africa’s national flower, its collection of different species is greatly found in the continent of Australia. There alone has at most 850 species of proteas and making the country of South Africa next on the list for only having at most 330 species of protea.


How is it important to South Africa?

The species that is endemic in the soils of South Africa is the king protea. This species is known to be the largest amongst all species and is largely found in the Cape Floristic region of the country. It is thought to have a significant resemblance to a crown. For this reason, it became South Africa’s national flower and is visible to a number of South African documents like passports and birth certificates. Even their coins have this image embedded in it.


How is it in the wild?

Proteas are not only beautiful but are also believed to have great survival skills. Catastrophes like wildfires are truly devastating. It ruins almost everything it touches. But this is not a case applicable to the flower proteas. Even a wildfire or some extreme weather condition has no match to it. Dormant buds are capable of emerging from the soil only when the fire has already gone out or the weather condition becomes fine. it is one tough and smart plant in the record.


What soil does this plant live on?

To survive in extreme conditions already tells how tough these plants are. Not only how it is able to survive in different weather conditions, but also how it is able to survive on soils with fewer nutrients. Though it could come in different forms and colors, proteas have one similarity it cannot deny. Every root system of each species is the same and all are capable of surviving on soils with fewer nutrients in it.


Meaning of Protea 

Stories and historical backgrounds influence a person’s perception of an object. For flowers like proteas, its meanings and interpretations are formed from different stories and backgrounds. For some other reason, this is somehow important to a number of people. Sending flower being a norm to express one’s emotions is done according to how the type of flower is interpreted. For proteas, it is associated with different meanings and here are those:


  • Diversity – One can easily identify the rare beauty of proteas. If placed next to other beautiful flowers, proteas appear to stand out from the crowd. What makes it more interesting is how it is capable of sprouting to different forms and sizes. It is so unique and has been always beautiful no matter the situation. Make this a gift to someone you adore.
  • Courage – Being able to survive in extreme conditions, one could find it possible why these flowers symbolize courage. Being a tough and hardy plant, this flower sends a strong message and whoever receives this has to know that a message of being able to survive the obstacles life could throw is intended. Have the courage to fight and make a difference in this very wide world. That is what proteas mean.
  • Daring – The boldness this flower shows is so daring that it stands out most among all others. Just the way it is already amazing.
  • Transformation – When proteas bloom, it turns into a beautiful and unique flower. Just like what you want to tell a person, to bloom in your own timing and manner is natural. Wait for that moment to arrive and expect how beautiful you could turn into when that eventually happens.


How to Care for Protea Tips

According to our flower delivery service team, Ironic as it may sound but proteas are not easy to grow in your homes. Though capable of surviving on different and extreme weather conditions, to take care of one is hardly an easy thing to do. It may grow on various habitats from stony to moist areas, the soil it needs to survive requires a particular level of acidity.

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