Comment, Like, & Favorite
Protea Neriifolia - Exotic Hawaiian Tropical Protea Flower - Pink Mink
Photograph - Photography - Macro
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet - Thích Nhất Hạnh
The Protea neriifolia or Pink Mink is a decorative plant that is beautiful and distinctive.
They have large pink flowers embellished with what looks like black hair.
Like others in its plant family, this particular plant is also used as ornament.
Usually used in flower arrangements, it provides additional texture to any aesthetic creation.
Moreover, the contrast of the pink and black adds a certain level of depth making any arrangement very unique and elegant.
Many florists take advantage of the Pink Mink’s natural beauty to give their creations an added exotic and unusual appeal.
Proteas which are native to South Africa have a wonderfully long vase life.
This particular plant is Native to South Africa.
The conditions are very conducive in this tropical region to grow such delicate plants.
The name Protea is taken from the Greek god Proteus.
It is a large shrub, growing from about 3 metres to 5 metres in height.
Its flower head ranges in colour from pink to creamy-green, with a black fringe that intergrades to white.
Although it was first discovered by Europeans in 1597, and was the subject of a botanical illustration in 1605, the plant was only described as a distinct species in 1810 by botanist Robert Brown.
Other common names for the species include baardsuikerbos, and baardsuikerkan, blousuikerkan -
This is a large ornamental shrub with a fairly long flowering time, producing large flowers, varying in colour from creamy-green through silvery pink to deep carmine. A 'beard' of purple-black to pure white hairs sets off the colour of the inner bracts. Protea neriifolia is an excellent plant for the garden and an outstanding and long lasting cut flower.
Protea neriifolia is part of an ancient plant family, the Proteaceae, which had already divided into two subfamilies before the break-up of the Gondwanaland continent about 140 million years ago. Both the Proteoideae and the Grevilleoideae occur mainly in the southern hemisphere. In southern Africa there are about 360 species, of which more than 330 species are confined to the Cape Floral Kingdom, between Nieuwoudtville in the northwest and Grahamstown in the east. Protea neriifolia belongs to the genus Protea, which has more than 92 species, subspecies and varieties. Other well-known genera of the Proteaceae are: Leucospermum, known as pincushions because of their brightly coloured flowers, Leucadendron, the conebushes, with yellow or red-brown foliage and Serruria, of which Serruria florida, the blushing bride, is the most famous, its pale pink flowers making it much sought after for bridal bouquets.
The amazing variety in the size and habit of the plants, and in the size, colour and shape of the flowers of the genus Protea was the reason it was named after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his shape at will. The leaves of Protea neriifolia are most often bright- or dark green and look quite like the leaves of the oleander (Nerium oleander). This accounts for the species name neriifolia, which means 'with leaves resembling those of the oleander'.
Protea neriifolia was first discovered in 1597, was illustrated in 1605, and has the distinction of being the first protea ever to be mentioned in botanical literature. It took quite a while before it was officially recognised as a distinct species by the botanists and it was only described and named in 1810. Enthusiastic horticulturists in the meantime had already succeeded in growing Protea neriifolia in glasshouses in Europe and in 1811 an illustration of a plant grown to flowering size in the Herrenhaus Gardens near Hanover, Germany, was published. During the early nineteenth century it was possible to buy cream or pink flowering plants from a nursery in England and Protea neriifolia could be found in many private collections.
Protea neriifolia is a very widespread species and occurs from sea-level to 1300 m altitude in the southern coastal mountain ranges from just east of Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. It grows mainly on soils derived from Table Mountain Sandstone, often in large stands.
Protea neriifolia bushThe variability in altitude and locality has led to a wide variation in both flower colour and flowering time. The flowering time is between February and November with the plants in the western part of the range flowering during autumn and winter (February to July), and the plants in the eastern range flowering during spring and early summer (August to November). These characteristics are quite stable and this provides commercial growers with a wide choice for their particular markets. The 'flowers' of Protea neriifolia are actually flower heads with a collection of flowers in the centre, surrounded by large colourful bracts. The flowers are pollinated by scarab beetles, protea beetles and many other insects, as well as by birds. The birds are attracted by both the nectar and the insects visiting the flowers.
Protea neriifolia can be propagated from seed or from cuttings. Good colour forms or cultivars have to be propagated from cuttings.
Cuttings are made from semi-hardwood, 6-10 cm long, of the current season's growth, in autumn or spring. The cuttings are dipped for about four seconds in a rooting hormone solution and placed in a growing house with bottom heat (25ºC) and intermittent mist. The rooted cuttings are potted up when the roots are well developed and planted out in the late autumn in South Africa, or in spring in colder areas.
The large furry nut-like seeds have to be treated during storage or prior to sowing with a systemic fungicide like Apron, (active ingredient metalaxyl) and sown from the middle of March, when the day temperature starts to drop. The seed is sown in open seedbeds, in a light, well drained soil and covered with a layer of sand (about 1 cm or 1½ times the size of the seed). The bed is then covered with a grid against the attacks from birds and rodents. The seed will germinate three to four weeks after sowing.
Protea neriifolia has quite hard, leathery leaves, which protect it against most insect attacks and not much damage to the leaves is visible, except from leaf borers. Like all other proteas, the most harmful and destructive diseases are fungal. Most losses occur during the summer months when a virulent root fungus, Phytophthora, can attack the plants. Control through the use of fungicides in the garden is difficult and expensive. By the time the plant shows distress, it is normally too late to arrest the problem. The best methods of control are cultural, i.e. water the plants early in the morning; keep the soil surface cool by mulching; remove diseased plants immediately; do not overwater in summer and prune and remove diseased material.
Protea neriifolia occurs in fire prone vegetation, where natural fires occur every ten to thirty years. This 'Mediterranean' type of vegetation grows in soils with very low amounts of nutrients. These nutrients are used up by the plants during their lifetime and need to be returned to the soil to provide the food for a new generation of plants. Protea neriifolia is adapted to survive the fires by keeping its seeds safely in the old seedheads, which will only be stimulated to open and release the seeds when the plant dies or is killed by fire. These natural fires occur mainly in late summer or autumn and are followed by the first winter rains, which provide the moisture the young seedlings need to grow to a size at which they can survive the long, hot summer.
South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa.
Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust - Robert Brown 1773-1858
Protea neriifolia - Exotic Hawaiian tropical Protea flower - Pink Mink
Kula Maui Hawaii
Copyright © 2013 Sharon Mau - All Rights Reserved
This is a Rights-Managed Image protected by copyright. My images do not belong to the public domain. Images may not be reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, copied, reproduced in derivative works, displayed, published or broadcast by any means or in any form without prior written consent from the artist Sharon Mau - Mahalo
October 1st, 2013
Viewed 111 Times - Last Visitor from Las Vegas, NV on 07/22/2014 at 6:49 AM
copy and paste to your website / blog - preview