Native Plant to Western Australia
Banksia Protea is a genre of the Proteaceae family of flowering plants found in the southern hemisphere. The plant is named for Proteus, the Greek God, who was thought to be able to change between many forms. This is an appropriate description, given this plant produces multiple varieties of flowers and leaf patterns. Banksia Protea in particular provides one of the most striking examples of the variability of the genre, making it difficult to provide a simple diagnostic key to the identification of the family.
Protea is generally considered a tree by most, towering over 25 feet at times. They are also considered part of the evergreen family of plants, given they maintain their foliage year-round. The trees produce the actual banksia protea flower. The flower or, more accurately, incandescence, consists of many small flowers packed tightly into a spike, with saw-tooth leaves. Native to the southern tip of Western Australia, Banksia protea is named after Sir Joseph Banks, who is often called the Father of Australia.
Growing Recommendations - Banksia Protea
Banksia protea is important to the cut floral industry because the flowers are useful as a line or form flowers in tropical arrangements and wreaths. They are large, showy flowers in vibrant colors such as yellow, grey-green, red, orange, and lime. They have a vase life of 7 to 10 days, outlasting many other tropical flowers. To maximize vase life, display the stems in a cool dry place. Recut the stems, under water, cutting at an angle so they do not rest on the bottom of the vase. Check the water level daily, adding warm water if needed. Replace the water every third day, with a commercial floral preservative if available. After you’ve enjoyed the fresh stems, Banksia protea also makes beautiful dried flowers lasting several years.