Protea Cynaroides






cynaroides – meaning ‘like an artichoke’

Common name:

Koningsprotea, King Protea

Vulnerability Index Score:



Throughout year

Birds, Seeder


What does the plant look like?

Protea cynaroides shrubs have many branches. Most shrubs are about one metre tall, but they can grow up to two metres.

What are the flowers like?

Flower heads are large and bowl-shaped and are up to 30 cm wide. The involucral (floral) leaves are pink to crimson. Plants flower throughout the year depending on locality.

How does it reproduce?

Protea cynaroides is pollinated by Sugarbirds and Sunbirds. Seeds are retained in the flower heads until after the next fire. Plants resprout from a permanent rootstock after fire.

Where is it found?

It grows throughout the Cape Floristic Region from the Cederberg in the west to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. It grows from sea level up to an altitude of 1,500 metres. Because it grows in many different places with different climatic conditions, Protea cynaroides leaves and flowers vary greatly in size and colour.

How is it used?

Protea cynaroides is South Africa’s national flower. It is an extremely popular cut-flower and is grown worldwide.


[Red List: Least Concern]

Protea cynaroides is not threatened.