Commonly known as waboom (Afrikaans for wagon tree) and botanically known as Protea nitida or arborea. This is a South African shrub, native to the dry slopes of South Africa where it often attains a knotted picturesque habit, has both functional and ornamental uses. In Africa waboom was traditionally used to make ink and construct wheel-wheels.
However, this protea is also a lovely shrub or tree with large, ivory flowers and beautiful foliage. Waboom has long, oval leaves that are leathery and fully evergreen. They emerge opaque magenta but mature to a light bluish 'sea-green' or silver. Large, white flowers bloom mainly during the winter and early spring. Each blossom opens from a tidy bud to an impressive flower with creamy-white spike-like stamens.
Once the flowers dry, beautiful pods remain to be enjoyed.