Queen protea

Queen protea

Protea magnifica

Scientific name

The second largest flower after the King protea ranges from cream to deep red. It forms and attractive rounded bush of grey-green.

This is a slow-growing re-seeder after fire, and is thus suppressed with too frequent fires.

Occurs in well-drained, sandy, acid to neutral soil, at altitudes ranging from 1200-2700m. Challenging to grow without the right conditions, but easy in well-drained acid soils.

"Most proteas in South Africa are pollinated by insects such as bees, scarab beetles, monkey beetles, and bird species like the Cape Sugarbird (Promerops cafer), Orange-breasted Sunbird (Anthobaphes violacea), and the Southern Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris chalybeus). Protea magnifica is most likely pollinated by birds."

Propagation instructions

By seed

Seed germination is somewhat unpredictable, starting as early as 21 days after sowing and continuing for up to two months. Sow the seeds in autumn (mid-March) into well-drained soil and lightly cover with sand or fine-milled bark and keep moist. Once the seeds start to develop their first true leaves, transplant them into individual containers. Seedling growth after germination is slow as most of them take up to six years to reach flowering stage.

By cutting

Cuttings can be taken from semi hard wood in late spring or autumn. Collect cuttings from disease-free plants that are not yet flowering. Leaves on the basal third of the cutting should be stripped off and ensure that the cutting is cut just above a potentially sprouting bud. Dip the cutting in a rooting hormone and place into a well-drained medium under intermitted mist with a bottom heat of 25°C. Cuttings will ensure that the desired characteristics are maintained, whereas plants sown from seed might show variation from the parent plant particularly in flower colour.

The plant is not noticeably affected by insect pests but can be seriously affected by fungal diseases of the leaves. This normally happens when the plant is grown in humid or shaded localities. The fungal disease manifests themselves as deep reddish-maroon blotches on the leaves, which is followed by defoliation. A good way to prevent this from happening is to spray the plant regularly from seedling stage to maturity with a copper-oxychloride based fungicide. However seriously diseased, adult plants rarely respond to treatment and should rather be removed and destroyed.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

Sensitive roots


It provides food for:


Southern double-collared sunbird

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