Sunday, September 5, 2010

Protea Repens

Protea Repens or often called "Sugarbush" are some of the most underrated protea we grow. There are many varieties available today with Guerna and Helen White topping our list of favorites. The word Repens means "creeping" but there is nothing creeping about this protea, the majority of flowers have long stems and some even display multiple blooms. The more accurate and common name "Sugarbush", honors the species' reputation of producing more sweet nectar than any other protea.

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 .

Pictured here is our Repens Guerna in a hand-tied bouquet
with Brunia Albaflora.

Protea Repens - Helen White


  1. That rosy Repens Guerna with the green seed pods (I don't know what those are - but I like them!) have a great holiday look. The current Sunset cover (Dec 2014) has me really inspired to do more arrangements with proteas for inside my home.

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