Protea Susannae

Family:

Proteaceae

Genus:

Protea

Species:

susannae

Common name:

Stinkblaarprotea, Stink-leaf Sugarbush

Vulnerability Index Score:

7

2-3m

April to September

Birds, Seeder

Fresh

What does the plant look like?

Protea susannae is a large shrub with a single stem. It grows 2–3 metres tall and 3–4 metres wide. The leaves are 80-160 mm long, with an oval, wavy shape. The leaves smell like sulphur when you crush them. The young leaves are covered with tiny hairs, which drop off as the leaves get older. The mature leaves feel like leather.

What are the flowers like?

The flowers are 80-100 mm long and 70-110 mm wide. The flowers are soft pink and nearly white in the centre. The bracts are brown and covered in a sticky layer. Plants flower between April and September.

How does it reproduce?

Protea susannae is pollinated by Sugarbirds and Sunbirds. Seeds are retained in flower heads for several years after flowering.

Where is it found?

It grows mainly in neutral sand in fynbos that is rich in plants of the Protea family. It grows from Stanford in the Overberg to Albertinia.

How is it used?

Protea susannae has been hybridised under cultivation to produce cultivars such as “Pink Ice”, “Special Pink Ice”, “Cardinal”, “Sylvia” and “Susara”.

Conservation

[Red List: Near Threatened]

The habitat of Protea susannae is threatened by invasive alien plants, especially Rooikrans, urban expansion and Protea cultivation.