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P. cynaroides is a woody shrub with thick stems and large dark green, glossy leaves. Most plants are one metre in height when mature, but may vary according to locality and habitat from 0.35 m to 2 metres in height. The "flowers" of Protea cynaroides are actually composite flower heads (termed an inflorescence) with a collection of flowers in the centre, surrounded by large colourful bracts. 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.
It is widely distributed in the southwestern and southern parts of South Africa of the fynbos region.
The King Protea has several colour forms and horticulturists have recognized 81 garden varieties, some of which have injudiciously been planted in its natural range.
Lat: -33.51, Long: 19.23
Spotted on Aug 25, 2012
Submitted on Aug 25, 2012
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