Protea is both the botanical name and the English common name of a genus of South African flowering plants, sometimes called Sugarbushes in South Africa, but here in Australia, we just call them Proteas.

They dry exceptionally well and last for months as a cut flower (as long as you don’t put water in the vase which will make them rot and smell if you leave them long enough).  Sure, fill the vase with water if you only want them for a few weeks and don’t want the flowers to dry out.

While they’re not native to Australia, I have a lovely set of images, so this makes them worth sharing on my Nature Blog.

These 4 images were made quite by chance as I was walking towards the exit of Melbourne Zoo one day in 2013, (probably around mid to late afternoon), and surprisingly, I had my 150-500mm lens in my hand at the time.  I took 3 photos and then swapped to my 18-200mm lens to take another shot to include an un-opened bud in the background.

I’ve also photographed these long-lasting flowers in the Royal Botanic Gardens here in Melbourne, but those images were nowhere near as good (being shot on a more overcast day).

The Zoo images were on one day when ‘right time, right place’ applies, as it was late afternoon and the light was perfect for flower photography.

8 thoughts on “PROTEA

  1. Interesting that they last so long as a cut flower, when ‘protean’ means “able to change frequently or easily.” Curious, I looked it up, and found it’s named after Proteus, “because it, too, presents itself in an astounding variety of shapes, sizes, hues and textures to make up more than 1,400 varieties.” That’s a lot!

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    1. I think I’ve only seen 2-3 varieties, Linda. I used to have a collection of them, together with some other dried natives in a large vase until I read that dead or dried plants are bad Feng Shui (and with all my health problems, I decided to throw them out, just in case it REALLY was bad luck to have dead flowers indoors).


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