One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An evergreen shrub or small tree with large nectar-rich cone-like flower heads surrounded by brightly coloured bracts, chiefly native to South Africa.
Genus Protea, family Proteaceae: many species, including P. repens, which was formerly used as a source of sweet syrup
- ‘This bird is a ground forager, feeding on proteas, casuarinas and other small trees.’
- ‘Rather brace yourself for bunches of fresh arum lilies, proteas, flame lilies and aloe leaves.’
- ‘Native to the southern hemisphere and predominantly found and grown in South Africa, proteas produce bright, exotic looking flowers sought after by the cut-flower industry.’
- ‘The expanse of space south of Arcadia up the steep ridge will, over a period of some 20 years, be denuded of its black wattles and gum trees, and be replaced with indigenous acacias and proteas.’
- ‘It brings new life for proteas, certain trees and fynbos plants.’
Modern Latin, from Proteus, with reference to the many species of the genus.
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