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Protea: The Tea Behind This Kingly Flower

What with its spindly appearance that’s porcupine-like in nature, the Protea is far from a conventional flower. Still, that doesn’t stop them from making a statement, especially so in a bunch, befitting of their title as King and Queen (Protea). 
They come in a variety of colours too, and are a sight to behold. However, here’s what you need to know about the colours and corresponding meanings before gifting: 

PROTEA COLOUR, MEANING & GIFTING OCCASION

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White Protea Meaning

  • Innocence
  • Healing
  • Grief

 

When To Gift White Protea

  • Weddings 
  • Funerals

 

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Pink Protea Meaning

  • First love
  • Femininity 
  • Motherly love

 

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Yellow Protea Meaning

  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Compassion

 

When To Gift Yellow Protea

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Green Protea Meaning

  • Harmony
  • Abundance
  • Good luck

 

When To Gift Green Protea

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Orange Protea Meaning

  • Joyfulness
  • Delight
  • Love for life

 

When To Gift Orange Protea

  • International Friendship Day

 

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Purple Protea Meaning

  • Royalty
  • Spirituality 
  • Grace

 

When To Gift Purple Protea

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Red Protea Meaning

  • Passion
  • Romance

 

When To Gift Red Protea

IMPORTANT GIFTING NOTES FOR PROTEA

Protea For Gifting: Do's

  • As the symbolism of diversity, resilience, and an emblem of longevity, the Protea flower is best sent to your nearest and dearest. 

 

Protea For Gifting: Don'ts

  • A Protea’s flower, leaves, and seeds are poisonous and can harm humans, dogs, and cats when chewed.
  • All parts of the plant can cause skin irritation if handled too much. Keep bulbs away from children!

 

PROTEA FLOWER CARE 101

Oh-so distinctive, Proteas are hard to miss in a bunch, and looks good dried too. If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a bouquet filled with these, here’s how best to care for them:

Basic Care Steps For Cut Protea

  • Once they’ve arrived, trim 1 to 2 inches off their stems with a sharp, clean clipper. Make sure to remove any lower leaves so they don’t hang in water.
  • Clean your vase before filling it with water, and add in flower food as needed.
  • Need more tips? Read our Flower Care Guide!

 

Additional Pro-Tips for Protea Flower Care

  • To prevent the blooms from spotting, and blackening, it’s best to keep Proteas in a well-lit area.
  • Protea flowers are top-heavy, and have a thick and woody stem. Handle carefully when unwrapping and re-arranging, more fragile flowers can be crushed!

 

PROTEA: A HISTORY

Inspired by the many forms, leaf shapes, and colours, botanist Carl Linnaeus coined the Protea after Proteus, a Greek god who could change his appearance at will. 

Proteus’ name also comes from the Greek word “Protos”, meaning “first”’. In a way, it applies to the Protea too based on fossil findings, scientists have established that Proteas first appeared, nearly 300 million years ago, making them one of the oldest flowering plants on the planet!

PROTEA VARIETIES

While Protea flowers are native to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America, the best are cultivated in California and Hawaii. Today, there are more than 1,400 varieties of Protea. Of which, the more popular (and iconic!) ones have to be:
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King Protea

  • Big flower head
  • Flattened, paddle-shaped leaves
  • Comes in a variety of colours

 

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Queen Protea

  • Rounded flower head
  • Dark-green leaves
  • Pink and white

 

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Pincushion Protea

  • Compact flower head
  • Spindly leaves
  • Comes in a variety of warm colours

 

PROPS TO THE PROTEA

Wrapped or displayed in a vase, the Protea commands full attention. Combine it with other delicate blooms to convey good luck and prosperity or unconditional support!