The King Protea, (Protea cynaroides), is a flowering
plant. Its flower head (what the layman will call the 'flower') is the
largest in the genus Protea: the species is also known as Giant Protea,
Honeypot or King Sugar Bush. It is widely distributed in the south-western
and southern parts of South Africa of the fynbos region.
The artichoke-like appearance of the flower-heads of the king protea
lead to the specific name ‘cynaroides’, which means ‘like cynara’ (the
artichoke). The name does not do justice to the beautiful flower-heads of
this protea, which is the largest in the genus. A number of varieties in
colour and leaf shapes are found, but the most beautiful is the pink
It is the flagship of the The Protea Atlas
Project, run by the South African National Botanical Institute. This
unusual flower has a long vase life in flower arrangements, and makes for
an excellent dried flower.