Friday, June 24, 2022

In the Field: Protea Aristata

Ready for a big “did you know” protea moment? To make summer in the fields a little more colorful, check out the, beautiful, Protea aristata that blooms in hot, dry conditions from June through August. We’re taking a deep dive into the wonders of aristata – a favorite summer protea – with information you’ll want to know and share.

Protea aristata (aristata = sharp-tipped leaves), was first collected in 1928 near the town of Ladismith in the Cape Province. Although thought to be common in the Seweweekspoort region, aristata could not be found again until 1953, prior to which it was believed for quite some time that it had become extinct. Aristata, also known as Ladismith sugarbush, Ambassador sugarbush, small pine sugarbush and Christmas sugarbush, has become one of South Africa's most famous proteas despite its relatively late 'discovery'.

This distinctive protea has unusual pine-needle like foliage which provides a lovely background to its striking large and bright crimson flowers. And, of course when harvested, aristata beckons. It’s simply stunning when mixed in bouquets and arrangements.

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