Protea cynaroides

The King Protea takes on many forms. Its leaves can be round, oval or elliptic. Its flowerhead can be small or huge. Its involucre of silky haired bracts can range from pink to crimson to yellow and creamy white. Its multitude of florets are bisexual and have bilateral symmetry. Its florets bloom during winter but can also flower during any other time of the year. Its fruits are densely bearded and can fly away on the wings of the wind.  

This gave me a new appreciation when I found the King not only in a bright creamy green but also in crimson on the slopes of L’Aghulas National Park. I sketched these on a pot against a great darkness as covid descended upon us and we began our lockdown, 26 March 2020.

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