Alien-like stamen emerge from a fuzzy center.

Protea is a genus of flowers from the proteaceae family. There are between 1,400 and 1,600 varieties of this flower that include a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. In fact, it is the wide variety of flowers that earned it its name. The flower was named after the Greek God Poseidon’s son, Proteus, who was known for his wisdom, but he was not always eager to share his thoughts and knowledge. It seems Proteus preferred to while away the day sleeping in the summer sun. To avoid detection, he changed his appearance and shape frequently. The protea flower symbolizes change and transformation across cultures. These unique flowers have existed since prehistoric times with some estimates dating them to 300 million years ago.

The Pincushion Protea is a rounded spreading shrub growing up to 2 meters across and 1.5 meters tall. The stiff protruding look of the flowers is what gives this genus it’s common name.

King Protea (Protea cynaroides).

Protea cynaroides, the king protea, is a distinctive member of Protea, having the largest flower head in the genus. The species is also known as giant protea, honeypot or king sugar bush. It is widely distributed in the southwestern and southern parts of South Africa. The king protea is the national flower of South Africa. It has several colour forms and horticulturists have recognized 81 garden varieties. In some varieties the pink of the flower and red borders of leaves are replaced by a creamy yellow. This unusual flower has a long vase life in flower arrangements, and makes for an excellent dried flower.

Two more views of the King Protea showing this flower contains a collection of smaller flowers.

Large stiff narrow bracks surround the flower, which resembles a massive bowl.

Serruria is a genus of flowering plants in the family Protaceae, endemic to South Africa.

With its delicate blush pink flowers, Serruria florida x rosea ‘Pretty n Pink’ is a cultivar of Serruria popular in the cut flower trade for use in bridal bouquets. Belonging to the family Proteaceae, it is derived from a cross between Serruria florida (Blushing Bride), which produces ivory flowers and Serruria rosea (Bridesmaid spiderhead) whose flowers are rose pink.

The flowerheads vary in size, from about 120 mm to 300 mm in diameter. Large, vigorous plants produce six to ten flower heads in one season, although some exceptional plants can produce up to forty flower heads on one plant. The colour of the bracts varies from a creamy white to a deep crimson, but the soft pale pink bracts with a silvery sheen are the most prized.

Some varieties of protea flowers make a delightful backdrop for other more showy flowers, while some take center stage as a cut flower. They can be used in bridal bouquets or wedding décor, at special celebrations, and for birthdays and other special events. What the protea flower means depends on the circumstances and the relationship between the giver and receiver, but there are some commonly agreed upon meanings for the protea flower, – Diversity, Daring, Transformation, and Courage.

The above information has been researched from the Internet.

Photographs were taken by myself on Oct.10 at Gardens By the Bay, Singapore, as part of their floral display, Tribal Tempo from Sept 9 to Oct 30 1026.