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Are Proteas Native to Australia?

The small, spiky flowers of the Protea are one of the most distinctive and instantly recognisable of Australia’s flora.

The unique appearance of the Protea has seen them become popular in floral arrangements and as feature plants in gardens.

Are proteas native to Australia?

Protea 1 | Gardening

No, proteas are not native to Australia. Proteas are often confused for Australian native flowers, but the truth is that they are actually a South African native plant.

The Protea genus is unique to the Southeastern regions of Africa and belongs to a family of plants known as Proteaceae which also includes Australia’s native Banksias, Grevilleas and Waratahs.

However, despite not being Australian natives, Proteas have become incredibly popular in Australia due to their beauty and unique flower shapes.

Proteas are found in South Africa (as well as other countries on the southern tip of the continent).

Their distinctive flowers with an unusual appearance that makes them attractive to many floral enthusiasts.

They are grown commercially in Australia, but mainly in Western Australia’s south-west region.

Proteas belong to the Proteaceae family

Protea 2 | Gardening

While Proteas are not themselves native to Australia, they do belong to the same family of plants (Proteaceae) as Australia’s native Banksias, Grevilleas and Waratahs.

Proteaceae plants are a family of flowering plants that are native to the southern hemisphere. They grow in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America.

The Protea is a fascinating flower. It takes its name from the Greek god Proteus who could change his form at will.

Like its namesake, the genus protea comes in a dazzling array of shapes and sizes.

The lifespan of a protea is longer than many other cut flowers—often lasting more than two weeks if properly cared for.

They also have a long flowering period; some varieties will bloom again after being pruned.

FAQ

Do Proteas need full sun?

Yes, Proteas thrive in a location with full sun.
Proteas grow well in exposed positions with poor soils, and because they are both heat and cold tolerant, you can plant them in a number of places.

Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.

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