Repens could be considered the first protea. In 1774, it was cultivated under glass in the Royal Collection at Kew Gardens where, in 1780, it became the first protea ever to bloom in cultivation away from the Cape. Sugarbush was also considered South Africa's National Flower until 1976 when it was replace by the Protea King.
Here in California the majority of our Repens bloom from September through January. We consider them part of our fall harvest. It is interesting to note, that the process from a tight bud to an open flower takes six to eight weeks and the seed develops over the next seven months.
So don't let the bounty of sweet nectar keep you away from these gorgeous flowers - they're wonderful in bouquets and arrangements .