Summer is the time when King Proteas are in bloom. These flowers really are the "kings" of the protea world, opening up to the size of dinner plates! For this reason, Protea Cynaroides (their botanical name) are the national flower of their native South Africa. They truly are stunning. At Swallows Nest Farm, we have been busy planting King Proteas this season in a stunning White. I am so excited about them! Unfortunately, I will have to contain my excitement as they will not be ready for harvesting for 3 years. I will have to content myself with the few Mini Kings that we have! It will not be a chore - they are equally as beautiful, if alittle smaller. Still a fair size for a flower at the diameter of a bread and butter plate. They are a beautiful colour with soft purple on the centre crown, and cream and pink outer petals. Then there are the soft creamy green centre stamens.
The whole flower is like a performance as it opens slowly over days and even weeks. I watch captivated as they open, changing shape unfolding themselves. Recently, I had one on my windowsill for a fortnight and took photos as it underwent its slow unfolding performance. These are some of the photos.