help with ID - possible Protea?

lecorbeau(7b)August 28, 2012

Please help me ID this plant for my mother.

I have also posted on the Hawaii forum, but now I'm thinking it might not be Hawaiian.

A description on Google image search led me to Protea neriifolia, but as I have never seen one, and it is not an exact match, I would like some help.

Thanks in advance.


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A lot of the proteas originate from South Africa though they have been adopted by other countries/continents.
I think you are probably right, either that or Protea laurifolia, which is another sort of "bearded" or "mink" flower - this one I guess from the background is part of a floral display in which case it might even be semi-dried and hence it won't look identical to a fresh flower.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 2:16AM
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Thanks very much, Alisonoz! I'll pass on the information.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:02AM
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It is from the Protea genus, and these plants are neither tropical nor Hawaiian. The genus Protea is South African, as mentioned by Alisonoz, whilst plants of the Protea family (Proteaceae) are predominantely South African and Australian.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:10AM
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Thanks for the info, TropicBreeze. Can you tell me the growing requirements for Protea neriifolia and Protea laurifolia? I have found that they like a dry climate, but I can't pin down the minimum temperature.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:39AM
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You're lookimg at a Mediterranian climate, dry summers and wetter winters. Temperatures do approach freezing but not all that often. They should be able to take short, light freezes, but not sit below freezing point for any length of time. The main worries with them is poor drainage, they're susceptible to root rots. And also over fertilisation. They usually come from nutrient poor soils that drain fast. Too much phosphorus can kill them so any fertiliser used for them should be low in "P".

They grow very well in southern Australia because there's a lot of similarity with their native climate. Temperatures there can get below freezing but the days always warm up above. Summers get very hot, usually with low relative humidity.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:53PM
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Thanks a lot!

Last set of questions, then I'll quit:

Do they grow very fast? Do you think someone could keep one in a pot indoors in a bright window?

Our climate in the Carolinas is very humid in the summer, even though there are areas where the temperatures wouldn't be a problem.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:53PM
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nankeen(z8b Portland OR)

P neriifolia &c are faster growing plants compared to some and really should be considered small trees to 10 or 15 feet. So, you can maybe keep it indoors briefly during winter in a half wine barrel, but you'll need to put it outdoors in summer. Some humidity isnt lethal but a lot can be. They don't like baked pots either and too-small pots always bake. Prune often after blooms to keep a good branching, but never prune below green leaves as the remaining branch will just die.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:48AM
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