King Protea ( Protea cynaroides )

King Protea ( Protea cynaroides )

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Flower of the King Protea, Protea cynaroides, a native of South Africa, and the national flower of South Africa. The "flower" is a complex inflorescence, consisting of a ring of stamens surrounding a central boss comprised of stigmas. The "petals" - here pink, are in fact floral bracts.P. cynaroides is adapted to fire by the development of a swollen underground stem called a lignotuber, a structure shared with many eucalyptus species. Following a catastrophic fire event, the lignotuber produces new shoots which grow to produce a replacement plant. Protea flowers are nectar-rich and are pollinated by birds in their native habitat. This picture was taken in Victoria Australia, where the flowers are commonly visited by bees.

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Keywords: biological, biology, bird pollination, botanical, botany, bract, king protea, lignotuber, nectar, protea, protea cynaroides, south africa, stamen, stigma

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