Protea is from the sea god, Proteus, who could take on many forms and alludes to the great range of leaf shapes found in the Proteaceae family.
Evergreen, perennial shrubs or trees with alternate, leathery, toothed or deeply divided leaves and many, paired flowers in a head on a flat base.
Stipules - None.
Blade - leathery, prickly toothed or divided almost to the midrib. Lower surface often covered with dense white hairs and a prominent midrib. Upper surface darker, usually smooth with a central furrow.
Flower head:Terminal or on the side. Persistent bracts underneath and usually closely surrounded by leaves
Flowers:In pairs, stalkless. Hermaphrodite. Each pair has a hairy, woolly bract underneath.
Ovary - Superior, 1 celled with 2 ovules, very small, usually hairy.
Style - Simple, slender, terminal
Stigma - Very small. Stigmatic disk very small, often 8 ribbed
Calyx - Usually yellow, almost radially symmetrical, usually straight. Linear claw and much narrower limb.
Sepals - 4, Joined in a short tube at the base, which is enclosed in bracts. Concavity in the limb.
Stamens - 4, fertile, opposite sepals and inserted into them.
Anthers - Narrow, stalkless in a concavity in the sepal
4 very narrow, membranous nectary scales nectary scales, usually with a few long hairs close by.
Fruit:Leathery to woody, flattened follicle, 2 broad valves, single or double septum separates the seed.
Seeds:2, flattened, with a membranous wing on the end.
Roots:Sometimes has a lignotuber.
Key Characters:Leaves alternate. Often toothed or deeply divided
Numerous flowers in a dense head on a flat receptacle.
Flowers grouped, usually with each pair of flowers subtended by a common bract.
Involucre bracts usually conspicuous, not broadly based, persistent.
Calyx of 4 sepals.
Sepal limb not becoming spiralled.
4 stamens, opposite to and inserted into the perianth segments
Anther borne in a concavity, near the end of a sepal.
Fruit a 2 seeded follicle, often persistent.
Follicle with a septum separating the 2 seeds.
From Nancy Burbidge, and B.L. Rye.
Flowering times:Depsnd on the species.
Seed Biology and Germination:Vegetative Propagules:
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Dispersed by seed.
Origin and History:Distribution:
ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Ornamental, amenity plantings.
Detrimental:Little forage value.
Some species may become environmental weeds.
The Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits removal of native plants from the wild in their native range on government land.
Management and Control:Physical removal is usually effective.
Bulldoze the area, then burn to encourage seeds to germinate. Cultivate or spray to control seedlings.
Herbicide resistance:None reported
Biological Control:Unlikely because of the range of native species in this genus.
Related plants:Pingle (Dryandra carduacea).
Prickly Dryandra (Dryandra armata)
Couch Honeypot (Dryandra nivea)
Urchin Dryandra (Dryandra praemorsa)
Parrot Bush (Dryandra sessilis)
Lanoline Bush (Dryandra triaristata)
Plants of similar appearance:References:
Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).
Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia).
Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).
Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).
Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).
Marchant et al (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P323. Diagrams
Parsons, W.T. and Cuthbertson, E.G. (1992) Noxious weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).
Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.