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United States

Protea Catalog

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Grow Proteas Book

A full-colour paper-back guide to the propagation and cultivation of some South African proteaceae. This booklet was written by the experts in this field and has colour photographs from the Kirstenbosch Gardening Series Collection. It is written in such a way that is very useful and informative for the average gardener.


  • Introduction
  • Propagation from seed
  • Vegetative propagation
  • Cultivation
  • Greenhouse cultivation
  • Disease and pest control
  • Recommended species
  • Recommended cultivars
  • Further reading
  • Information summary
  • Index

The book is A5 size and has 190 pages.

A useful laymans guide to growing Proteas

Protea lepidocarpodendron seed

Black-beard sugarbush

belongs to group called Bearded sugarbushes

  • the flower is a stunning cream with black velvety beard
  • grows to an erect shrub- 2 - 3 m tall
  • this plant looks a lot like Protea neriifolia, except the flowers are cream to pink and heavily bearded with brown and purple/black hairs
  • flowers from April to August
  • habitat is in sandstone, ferricrete and granite soils
  • it is a fast grower and does well in coasta gardensl
  • sow in autumn
  • hardy to USDA zone 9

Protea compacta

Botriver sugarbush

belongs to group called Spoon-bract sugarbushes

  • grows into a  bush of about 3.5m in height
  • flowers in autumn and winter
  • the flowers are neat goblet -shaped and have long  soft pink involucral bracts with ciliate margins
  • iIdeal as cut flower-is very attractive
  • sow in autumn
  • hardy to USDA zone 8
  • this is a very popular, attractive and hardy protea
  • it should be kept well pruned to increase the number of stems-if left unpruned it can become quite straggly
  • are fairly frost resistant

Protea burchellii

Burchells protea

belongs to group called Spoon-bract sugarbushes

named after Willian John Burchell, a British explorer and naturalist

  • the flowers vary from shiny, cream to pink to carmine, tipped with a black or white beard
  • this is an erect, spreading shrub, 1 - 2m tall and upto 3m across
  • flowerheads have short flowers sunken within the long involucral bracts
  • grows in varied soils, but favours richer soil
  • flowering occurs in winter and flowers are excellent as cut flowers
  • flowers are easy to grow and quite hardy
  • sow in autumn
  • does well in coastal gardens

Protea lacticolor

Commonly known as Hottentots Holland sugarbush

  • This species is one of the white sugarbushes.
  • It grows into a neat erect slender shrub or small tree of 2-5m
  • Flowering occurs from autumn to winter.
  • The flowers vary from cream to pink and are funnel shaped, becoming untidy as they open further and are invaded by bees and nectar feeding birds.
  • The oval shaped blue/grey  leaves are quite thick and tough.
  • The height, slenderness and foliage make this a popular landscaping plant.
  • It's an easy to grow shrub that does well in well drained soil.
  • Seeds should be sown in Autumn.
  • Hardy to USDA zone 8.



Protea humiflora

Commonly known as Patentleaf sugarbush

  • This species is one of the rodent sugarbushes.
  • It grows to 1m sprawling shrub.
  • Flowering occurs from late winter to early spring.
  • The sharply pointed grey to purplish-green leaves conceal a bowl-shaped flower with dark bracts.
  • Prefers hot, dry sun-facing slopes.
  • Seeds should be sown in Autumn.
  • Hardy to USDA zone 8.

Protea grandiceps

Commonly known as Red sugarbush

  • Protea grandiceps grows to a height of 2m.
  • It has distinctive broad, leathery, oval blue-green leaves with red margins.
  • Produces showy pink to red flowers from Spring to Summer, with thick white and maroon beards. 
  • This is a very decorative garden shrub
  • It produces beautiful cut flowers
  • This species tolerates frost well.
  • Hardy to USDA zone 8.

Protea roupelliae

Commonly known as Silver sugarbush

  • Protea roupelliae grows to a height of a 3-8m, forming a small upright tree.
  • It grows in a variety of different habitats of soil and vegetation types and is one of the few proteas found in summer rainfall areas.
  • Protea roupelliae leaves are sometimes silky and silvery, and other times smooth.
  • The protea roupelliae flower heads are goblet-shaped, pink to ruddy brown in color, with bracts covered in silk, silver hairs.
  • Flowering occurs from summer to autumn and seeds should be sown in spring.
  • Protea roupelliae is fast growing, adaptable and attractive.
  • Hardy to USDA zone 8.  

Protea punctata

Commonly known as Waterlily sugarbush

  • Grows to 2-4m shrub/tree.
  • Has attractive blue-grey leaves.
  • Has a water lily-like flower with bracts that open wide to display a white/pink flower in the middle.
  • Flowers produced from Summer to Winter.
  • Prefers dry areas.
  • Can tolerate light frost.
  • Hardy to USDA zone 8. 
  • This species is easy to grow.
  • It produces a lovely cut flower

Protea repens

Common Sugarbush, Suikerbos, Honey Protea

Belongs to group called True sugarbushes

  • grows to shrub/tree of 4.5 m with long narrow leaves
  • flowers creamy white to red and are waxy and sticky to touch
  • they flower from Feb-Oct
  • produce lots of nectar, attracting birds and bees
  • are easy to grow from seed, adaptable to many soil types and waterwise
  • produce beautiful long-lasting cut flowers
  • sow in autumn
  • hardy to USDA zone 8
  • the sweet watery nectar that collects in the flowers used to be drained and boiled up to produce a sugary syrup – known as 'bossiestroop' – which was used as a sweetner and for medicinal use
  • ideal for coastal gardens and can be used as a windbreak

    Protea eximia

    Commonly known as Broad-leafed sugarbush

    • Shrub grows to between 2 and 5m, with broad cordate leaves.
    • Shows large flowers usually in Spring with long spatulate inner bracts that are widely splayed.
    • Easy in cultivation.
    • Sow in Autumn.
    • USDA zone 8.

    Protea venusta

    Commonly known as Creeping beauty, Rotssuikerbos

    • This species grows in high altitude areas 
    • It grows to height of 0.7m and width of 3m
    • It's a shrub with trailing flower stems with beautiful, bell-shaped flower heads with pink tipped bracts,
    • Flowering occurs in summer.
    • Sow seeds in autumn.
    • Seed is very limited.
    • Hardy to USDA Zone 8.

    Protea lanceolata

    Commonly known as Lance-leaf sugarbush

    • This species grows into 2-4m shrub.
    • It displays greenish-white flowers with widely splayed bracts in Winter.
    • Occurs  in coastal areas.
    • It is an adaptableplant with good rootstock.
    • Is ideal as a wind-break.
    • Will attract birds to your garden
    • Sow in Autumn.
    • Hardy to USDA zone 8.

    Protea nana

    Commonly known as Mountain Rose, Skaamblom

    • Grows to 1.3m, densely branched and compact.
    • Beautiful wine-red pendulous flowers from Winter to Spring.
    • Fast grower - expect germination from 25 days.
    • Flowers in 4th year from seed.
    • Hardy plant.
    • Sow in Autumn.
    • USDA zone 8.

    Protea susannae

    Commonly known as Stink-leaf Sugarbush, Stinkblaarsuikerbos

    • Protea susannae grows to a 2 to 3m shub.
    • The protea susannae leaves smell offensively like sulphur when crushed.
    • The protea flowers from autumn to spring, with oblong and brownish-pink flowers.
    • Protea susannae is a fast and robust grower in acid to alkaline sandy soil.
    • Sow in Autumn.
    • USDA zone 8.

    Protea acuminata seed

    Commonly known as the Black-rim protea 

    belongs to group called Rose sugarbushes

    • grows to height of 1 - 2 m into compact, erect rounded shrub
    • leaves are linear and smooth
    • it produces small flowers with white to wine-red bracts
    • flowers in late winter and early spring
    • sow in autumn
    • hardy to USDA zone 8
    • the flowers are good as cut flowers

    Protea amplexicaulis

    Commonly known as the Clasping-leaf sugarbush

    belongs to group called Rodent sugarbushes

    • grows to 0.4m sprawling shrub, with blue-green heart-shaped leaves which clasp the stem
    • flowers are reddish with involucre that is velvety-brown outside and white/pale pink inside
    • flowering  occurs in winter to early spring
    • the flowers have a yeasty odour to attract mouse pollinators
    • sow in autumn
    • hardy to USDA zone 8

    Protea acaulos seed

    Commonly known as the Common ground protea

    Belongs to the group of ground growing sugarbushes

    • It has dwarf, prostrate growth.
    • This species uses an underground branch system with a few trailing stems above ground.
    • Flowers are pale pink to brown occuring at ground level
    • Flowering occurs in spring.
    • Sow in autumn.
    • Hardy to USDA zone 8.

    Protea aurea seed

    Commonly known as the Common shuttlecock sugarbush

    belongs to group called White sugarbushes

    • grows to height of 3-5m with width of about 2m
    • has oblong leaves and candle-shaped buds which open to a cream/pink/crimson flower, like a shuttlecock
    • flowers from summer to autumn
    • very hardy & adaptable species
    • sow in autumn
    • hardy to USDA zone 8
    • attracts nectar feeding birds and bees
    • needs to be pruned back after flowering
    • is a fast grower

    Protea nitida

    Commonly known as Wa-boom, Wagon tree

    • Protea nitida grows to a 5m tree with light bluish/sea-green leaves.
    • The young leaves of the protea nitida are crimson.
    • The protea nitida flower in winter is creamy white and saucer-like.
    • This protea tree has good wood originally used to fashion wagon-wheels.
    • Protea nitida prefers coastal areas.
    • Sow in autumn.
    • USDA Zone 8.