Ant Exploring Protea Petals
Photograph - Photography
One of my macro photographs of the 'Pink Ice' Protea, Protea neriifolia. There were several ants enjoying their day just wandering around this magnificent flower. The ant in this image is exploring the protea petals perhaps in search of food.
[Information from the site of "The Plant Provocateur"]
Proteas primarily come from South Africa but there are some that have been hybridized in Australia.
Protea neriifolia ‘Pink Ice’ is also referred to as the Narrow-Leaf Sugarbush.
It has punchy pink new growth stems and produces fist-sized composite flowers with feathery rosy silver bracts surrounding a bundle of fuzzy quill-like flowers. Believe it or not, each one of those “quills” is an individual flower. At the base of each individual flower is a structure that produces nectar called a nectary. That’s why this plant is commonly referred to as a Sugarbush.
Protea neriifolia ‘Pink Ice’ grows to about 6 feet tall as well as wide and is one of the hardiest proteas around. It loves full sun, well-draining, nutrient lean soils – nothing too rich, low water, and is hardy to around 25 degrees fahrenheit/-3 celsius. One big note is that if you grow proteas, it is my experience to keep fertilizer containing phosphorous away from them. Phosphorous overloads these plants and can kill them. Feed them something with little or no phosphorous.
Protea neriifolia ‘Pink Ice’ blooms primarily from Autumn through Spring and intermittently the rest of the year. They make amazing cut and dried flowers.
The genus Protea was named after the Greek god Proteus. Proteus had the ability to change his form. Proteas come in a variety of forms. Some are small, some are medium in size, while others are large, bushy, and produce big ol’ chunky flowers.
July 20th, 2013
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