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This article is about the plant genus. For further uses, see Protea (disambiguation).
Protea repens bush.jpg
The original South African "suikerbossie" (sugarbush) Protea repens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Subfamily: Proteoideae
Genus: Protea

See text

Protea /ˈprtə/[1] is both the botanical name and the English common name of a genus of South African flowering plants, sometimes also called sugarbushes (Afrikaans: suikerbos).


The genus Protea was named in 1735 by Carl Linnaeus after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his form at will, because they have such a wide variety of forms. Linnaeus's genus was formed by merging a number of genera previously published by Herman Boerhaave, although precisely which of Boerhaave's genera were included in Linnaeus's Protea varied with each of Linnaeus's publications.


The Proteaceae family to which proteas belong is an ancient one. Its ancestors grew in Gondwana, 300 million years ago. Proteaceae is divided into two subfamilies: the Proteoideae, best represented in southern Africa, and the Grevilleoideae, concentrated in Australia and South America and the other smaller segments of Gondwana that are now part of eastern Asia. Africa shares only one genus with Madagascar, whereas South America and Australia share many common genera — this indicates they separated from Africa before they separated from each other.


Most protea occur south of the Limpopo River. However, Protea kilimanjaro is found in the chaparral zone of Mount Kenya National Park. 92% of the species occur only in the Cape Floristic Region, a narrow belt of mountainous coastal land from Clanwilliam to Grahamstown, South Africa. The extraordinary richness and diversity of species characteristic of the Cape Flora is thought to be caused in part by the diverse landscape where populations can become isolated from each other and in time develop into separate species.

Botanical history[edit]

Proteas attracted the attention of botanists visiting the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century. Many species were introduced to Europe in the 18th century, enjoying a unique popularity at the time amongst botanists.


Within the huge family Proteaceae, they are a member of the subfamily Proteoideae, which has Southern African and Australian members.


Protea caffra, the Common protea

(listed by section: a sect. has a name in two parts, consisting of the genus name and an epithet).

Dried head of Protea madiensis, the Tall woodland sugarbush, shedding mature fruit


  1. ^ "Protea". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. 
    Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protea — Please support Wikipedia.
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Wed, 23 Jul 2014 04:37:30 -0700

Cape Town's Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! is currently undergoing a renovation. Unlike other construction sites that are an eye-sore, The Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town team and our team at the Jupiter Drawing Room in Cape Town created a space that ...
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Wed, 09 Jul 2014 05:22:30 -0700

Protea Biosciences Group, Inc. (OTCQB:PRGB) and InSphero AG jointly announced today that they have entered into a collaboration that will combine each company's respective 3D technology. InSphero AG is the leading supplier of 3D organotypic ...
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:18:45 -0700

The collaboration will use Protea's proprietary LAESI direct molecular imaging platform to analyse InSphero's proprietary 3D InSight microtissues, creating 3D molecular profiles for tissue characterisation, drug metabolism and distribution ...

Indian Express

The West Australian
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 05:56:15 -0700

South Africa coach Russell Domingo on Saturday denied his team was earning a reputation for ball tampering after Vernon Philander become the second bowler in the last nine months to be fined for the offence. Philander was on Friday fined 75 per cent of ...


Fri, 04 Jul 2014 03:30:00 -0700

The people Naledi and Protea in Soweto are about to experience the meaning of the City's Corridors of Freedom campaign – a new bridge being built will link the two suburbs. A train track has separated the two for years. This has meant that either one ...
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 19:15:00 -0700

Almost a year after an inferno destroyed part of Protea Hotel located on the popular Isaac John Street, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, another fire yesterday gutted its generator house. Although the incident recorded no casualty, it was gathered that the fire ...
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:58:45 -0700

Benoni police cluster commander Brigadier Vuyokazi Ndebele was released on a R2 000 bail on a charge of fraud. Picture: WERNER BEUKES. JOHANNESBURG - A high ranking Benoni police officer appeared at the Protea Magistrate Court in Soweto on ...


Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:48:37 -0700

"Protea Fire," is printed on the banner that hangs outside South Africa's changeroom and is also the title of their track. It is not just a catch phrase. It refers to the national flower, the Protea, which is the first to bloom after a fire. Those two ...

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