Protea Speciosa

Family:

Proteaceae

Genus:

Protea

Species:

speciosa – meaning ‘beautiful’

Common name:

Bruinbaard Suikerkan, Brown-bearded Sugarbush

Vulnerability Index Score:

7

1.2m

June to January

Birds, Re-sprouting, Seeder

Dried, Fresh

What does the plant look like?

Protea speciosa is a shrub with straight stems that grows up to 1.2 metres tall. The leaves are 90-160 mm long and 10-60 mm wide.

What are the flowers like?

The flower heads have striking bracts that feel like velvet. They range in colour from creamy white to salmon pink in different regions. The flower head has a straight tip that ends in a creamy to brown beard. Plants flower from June to January, but mainly during September and October.

How does it reproduce?

Protea speciosa is pollinated by Sugarbirds and Sunbirds. Seeds are retained in flower heads and are only released after the plant has been killed by fire. The shrub can resprout after fire.

Where is it found?

It grows in mountainous areas from the Cape Peninsula to the Agulhas Plains. It grows on the Riviersonderend and Langeberg Mountains as far east as Riversdale.

How is it used?

It is harvested for the fresh- and dried-flower industries.

Conservation

[Red List: Least Concern]

Although Protea speciosa is listed as a species of Least Concern, it can be affected by unsustainable harvesting and frequent, unplanned veld fires.