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March 8th, 2013: Princess Protea (Protea grandiceps) by Kell

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

The Bloom of the Day for March 8th, 2013 was Princess Protea (Protea grandiceps).

View the bloom of the day here: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/botd.php?date=2013-03-08

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I just kept looking at this one.... I looked at all of them and then did a little research before even commenting. I really liked this one a LOT! Great picture again. It looks like its wrapped in caterpillars combing their hair...

This message was edited Mar 8, 2013 11:18 AM

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Used to love stopping at the Protea growing area on Haleakala, Maui. Had many dried ones that lasted for many years.
The Protea are amazing flowers - petals look like feathers.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Too beautiful for words.

Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

Beautiful photo and well described by David and Qwilter! I vision this being worn in Kells hair while she eats Sushi on the Seashore... ;-)

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Lucky you Qwilter! I would love to see them growing in Hawaii!

Thanks David, Pirl and Mr. Kin. And LOL Mr. Kin. And it is no longer in the middle of the night either for such fine humor.

I do believe this was one of the first protea I ever saw. Sue, I think you were there! It was at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. I was too thrilled for words at my discovery. Now my local nurseries sell them!

Then again it might have been 1 or 2 years after my initial discovery and I saw it in a floral arrangement at the Hall of Flowers. I think you were there at that time too, Sue.

Or................. lol.......... a guy was selling them at the Marin Farmers' Market in big bouquets. He grew them somewhere up your way Sue. He was rather mean. He would not let me take any photos unless I bought a bouquet. And they were quite expensive but I folded and bought one so I could get the photos.

Gee, it is so hard getting old! LOL

Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

What a meanie and he didn't have the decency to respect his elders! LOL I have only seen a few protea in arrangements and they are very fascinating. Protea definitely steal the show in any arrangement they are in.

Have a great weekend... Don't forget it's Spring forward weekend!

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

How rude he was Kell!!
Every time I see proteas, I am reminded of all the gorgeous photos you've added to the PF and these fuzzy ones are extra special!

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Aw Sue,....Ha! I think that was a great idea Kin....but Kell;...should you ever wear one in your hair, be sure and check for eggs after you remove it.....It looks like something that might leave something behind that might hatch!


Love that flower!

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I do hope you know that I knew your were joking with Kin Sue, and was just playing along...Just so you know!

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Oh David, I think you lost your place in the thread LOL, I was saying the man who wouldn't allow Kell to take a picture of the bloom unless she bought one was rude! Kin is an angel, I met him too so I know!!

And we all here have a bit of teasing history so you fit right in too! ;-)

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Isn't David fun, Sue!!!

Just got home from sushi and though I didn't wear any protea in my hair while I ate my sushi, I was so shocked that they had decorated the platter with them!

David, these protea has golden caterpillars crawling all over them!

Thumbnail by Kell
Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Since you all were dying to know (not really) where I saw the Protea grandiceps, I went back to look. It was my last thought at the Marin Farmers' Market!

Sue, remember the ones we saw at a few years ago at Sierra Azul? I think the pink one there was the prettiest one I have ever seen. So girly girl PINK with white cats a la David!

Thumbnail by Kell
Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

It's a pleasure having you here, David! Arlene you know how much we appreciate you here on BOTD!!
We're a rowdy and funny group at times...LOL

Wow who would have know you we're gonna have Dinner with the Protea and Cats tonight. What a coincidence, I think those things with eyes look more like triffids though! Just kidding excellent looking dinner and a fantastic photo.

Now I'm going to gently flap my wings over to the other BOTD... ;-)

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

I had to look up triffids, Kin. http://davidszondy.com/future/Dystopias/triffids.htm WOW! I would like to see 1 of those in person.

I am not too big on eating beings with eyes either. And esp if they are slippery. Those are Hotaru Ika , baby squid. I am not big on eating babies either. So poor Tom is always stuck eating them all. However I do love barbecued jumbo squid.served sliced without eyes and without any slip left.

Thumbnail by Kell
Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

Poor Tom! I would give them a try but most likely that would be it for the remainder of my life.

Triffids would be cool to see...well maybe not at this time of the day though!!!

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

HaHaHa with you guys...Fun dialogue and great new Protea pics too Kell. The ones with the Sushi were great!
I would like the baby squid a lot more in my fishtank swimming around like my head might be doing if I swallowed one........ Yuck! Ha!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I remember the 1st time I saw a dried squid hanging in a market in Korea. Must have been 6' long. Wondered how anyone could/would eat such a thing. Well, live there awhile & you find out. Was a bit chewy but very tasty.

Of course, no Protea in Korea!!!!!

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

You are brave, Kin. I have never even tried one, ick! My husband even eats the baby ones that are pickled. I prefer my food headless. LOL They would be so cool to watch swimming, David!

Qwilter, you have been all over! The barbecued big squid is a bit chewy too. They serve it with a spicy mayo dip. That makes it better! LOL

Thought you all might enjoy this photo by a protea grower here in California. I saw it on Facebook after I left this thread. Makes me want to grow them all! Which BTW, I have tried too but have successfully killed them all. They prefer less of everything including soil richness and fertilizer. My soil has been so enriched for years for my roses that it kills protea dead!

Thumbnail by Kell
Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

They have got to me the most "unique/unusual" flowers I've ever seen. Each one is more spectacular than the other.
My dried ones did fade but help up for almost 20 years.

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Oh man, I forgot all about Sierra Azul Kell! I kept thinking most of your shots were from San Francisco Botanical Gardens. That was a fun and full day, with good eats too at Phil's Fish Market.

I took this one in SF, it's so awesome looking!

Thumbnail by Calif_Sue
Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Qwilter, do you know which protea you have dried? I am amazed it has not disintegrated after 20 years.

Oh Sue, I had forgotten about Phil's Fish Market,. As I recall I got East coast clams with the bellies and they were not edible! I did go back a couple of times and brought home their cioppino for dinner. It was decent. I would get extra seafood (like clams and mussels) from their attached fish store to add in.

Your photo of Protea neriifolia is perfect. I think I love the bearded ones the best.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Not a clue which ones I had. Every time I went over to Maui, I'd get a couple. Some were red others purple. Just all lovely.
The last were tossed when I moved to FL last year.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Those were great new pics of Proteas Kell and Sue...I have already been researching them and where to get a couple!
Its great hearing from you on this one Qwilter, and since you brought it up about the dried flower I remember seeing them that way somewhere in the past....I was thinking from what Kell said about them liking poor soil too,..."They should grow like weeds here in Florida!"

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

They like the composition of the lava rock soil & need cooler nites. Where they are on the slopes of Haleakala they never get very hot, low humidity, & very chilly at nite. The top of the mt requires sweats even in the middle of summer.
Don't think they would be happy in FL.

From my booklet (Proteas in HI by Angela kepler) "There are 44 species............... Proteas grow on the cool, volcanic slopes of 10,000' .................. dry with frequent cloud cover & cool evening temps ............slightly acidic soil and good drainage"

I had Banksias, Pinwheel, Pincushions, Pink Mink, Golden Acorn......................and prob a few other varieties.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks for the info Qwilter......I won't waste my money or time and will admire in the photos...

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Qwilter, I just love Banksias, leucadendrons, and leucospermums too. Where I am though no soil like you describe, but they do love the cool nights here. We have a Mediterranean climate and they thrive.

David, here growers are working on creating protea that are not so fussy. So maybe you will get your wish in the future!

Thumbnail by Kell
Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

That is just really COOL. ☺

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