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Protea, King Protea, Giant Protea 'King White'

Protea cynaroides

Family: Proteaceae (pro-tee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Protea (PROH-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: cynaroides (sin-nar-OY-deez) (Info) (sin-ar-OY-deez) (Info)
Cultivar: King White




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 3, 2019, Kell from Northern California, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Per Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in Fallbrook, CA. [[email protected]] :
"Did you know the artichoke-like appearance of the king’s flower-head lead to the name ‘cynaroides’, which means ‘like cynara’… the artichoke? There are over eighty varieties of kings and they're divided into groups according to their leaf type. The leathery leaves vary from large and rounded to small and narrow and their huge flowers can be wide open, almost like a 12” dinner plate or a narrow funnel shape. These flower heads consist of numerous small, tubular-shaped blooms or also called an inflorescence. Their color can range from greenish-white through soft silvery pink to deep red, with each variety having its own f... read more


On Nov 16, 2007, Kell from Northern California, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

King White can only tolerate light frosts but does well in heavier soil than most protea. Also it grows well in containers and can live on the coast.

The genus Protea was named after the Greek God Proteus who could assume many shapes because like him, Proteas come in so many different forms. The king protea, Protea cynaroides is the national flower of South Africa where most originate from the mountainous coastal land of Cape Flora region. They are now grown in New Zealand, Australia, California and Hawaii

Proteas will attract bees and birds to your garden. They are full of nectar and often are called sugarbushes. Some are so sticky from nectar, insects actually get trapped in them. They grow best in full sun where the days are warm and the nights cool. Gener... read more