Protea Repens

Family:

Proteaceae

Genus:

Protea

Species:

repens

Common name:

Suikerkan, Common Sugarbush

Vulnerability Index Score:

3

2.5m

Throughout the year

Birds, Seeder

Dried

What does the plant look like?

Protea repens is an upright bush with a single stem.

What are the flowers like?

The flowers are cone-shaped. The outer bracts are sharply pointed. The colour varies from creamy-white, to white with pink, to deep red. The plants flower during the rainy season. This occurs in winter in the west, and in summer in the east. Flowers are therefore available all year round.

How does it reproduce?

Protea repens is pollinated by Sugarbirds and Sunbirds. Seeds are retained in flower heads and are only released after the plant has been killed by fire.

Where is it found?

It grows throughout the Fynbos Biome, from the south-western Cape to east of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape.

How is it used?

In the past, people collected the nectar and boiled it to make a sugary syrup. This is why it is called the “Sugarbush”. People used the syrup as a cough medicine. Today, Protea repens is used mainly in the dried-flower industry.

Conservation

[Red List: Least Concern]

Protea repens is quite common and is not considered vulnerable.