Protea cynaroides (L.) L.

King Protea

Family: Proteaceae

Genus: Protea

Category: Shrub

Size: To 3' tall typically


The flower bud resembles a globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus hence the species name. Variety of flower and leaf sizes because of the wide range of the plant.

Thick woody stems, large dark green glossy leaves. Flowers are surrounded by large bracts from white to deep pink to red.

See ProteaWorldOnline and PlantzAfrica for photographs.


Published in Mant. Pl. Altera 190 in 1771.

Basionym Leucadendron cynaroides L.

Native to South Africa.

National flower of South Africa.

Also published in Bot. Repos. 4: 288 in 1803: ...introduced to Britain, in 1792, by Messrs. Lee and Kennedy, Hammersmith, from the Cape of Good Hope.

ProteaWorldOnline lists synonyms:

Protea cyclophylla Gand. & Schinz, Erodendrum cynaraeflorum Salisb. ex Knight, Protea eriolepis Gand. & Schinz, Protea petiolata H.Buek ex Meisn., Protea woodwardii Endl.

Published also by Linnaeus in Syst. Veg. (ed. 13) 118 in 1774, Thunb. in Diss. Protea #59 in 1781 (RBr. in Trans. Linn. Soc. London 10: 75 in 1810 notes "exclus. syn. Lepidocarpodendron, &c. Boerh. Lugd. Bat. 2. p. 199. c. tab.") and Prodr. Pl. Cap. 28 in 1794, Willd. in Sp. Pl., ed. 4 1(2): 534 in 1798, Lam. in Tabl. Encycl. 1: 234 # 1209 in 1791. Poir. in Encycl. (J. Lamarck et al.) (Poiret) 5: 639 in 1804,

Sims in Bot. Mag. 20: 770 in 1804.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner