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Protea lanceolata

   (Family: Proteaceae)
Afrikaans: Smalblaarsuikerbos English: Lance-leaf sugarbush  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 2 - 4m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (heavy)
  Frost Tolerant (light)
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred altitude: 0 - 200m
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
  Clay (fine texture, holds a lot of water),
Sand (coarse texture, drains easily)
pH: acid
Biome: Fynbos
Flowering time EDIT
        x x x          
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Flower info
  White flower heads appear at the tips of the stems from autumn until spring (April to October) with peak flowering in early to midwinter (May to July). Both sexes are present in each flower. The involucral receptacle is concave. The flower heads are obconic to broadly obconic 70–80 x 50–70 mm. The flower head is made up of two distinct series of involucral bracts. The whorl of bracts at the base of the inflorescence, the outer series, is made up of bracts that are green with brown margins, hairless, tightly overlapping and acute. The bracts of the inner series are oblong to ovate to linear-lanceolate, concave, acute and widely splayed. They are greenish white to white and hairless or fringed with tiny red hairs at the base. The flowers are white, sparsely covered in reddish hairs with densely hairy tips. As the flower head opens the flowers collapse, giving the flower head an untidy appearance.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf texture Smooth
Leaf size 50 - 75mm
  Leaf info EDIT
  The leaves are lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, hairless, smooth, 50–75 x 5–15 mm. Leaf tips are rounded and rarely pointed.
  Seed info EDIT
  Seeds are retained in a spherical, cone-like seed head. The seed heads are retained on the bush for many years, and when not in flower, this species is often mistaken for a conebush (Leucadendron species).
Description EDIT
An erect shrub, 2–4 m high with a trunk diameter up to 100 mm.
Displays greenish-white flowers with widely splayed bracts in Winter.
Growing EDIT
Propagation can be done via cuttings or seed, seed being the easiest. Sow seeds in autumn to early winter (April–June). Seeds require warm day and cold night temperatures to germinate. Prepare seed trays containing a well-drained mix of bark and fynbos soil (50:50 mix). Scatter seeds on top and lightly cover with river sand. Water in well and use a fungicide treatment. Keep seed tray moist, not wet. Germination varies and some seeds may only germinate the following year. When the first true leaves appear, transplant the seedlings into pots in a well-drained, sandy fynbos mix. Grow on for a year before transplanting into the garden. Take tip cuttings from mid to late summer (December to March). Use a rooting hormone and place in a well-drained mix of bark and polystyrene. Cuttings must be kept humid, but not wet. Rooting occurs in approximately five weeks. Harden off rooted cuttings for 3 weeks and then transplant into pots as for seedlings.

It is an adaptable plant with good rootstock.
One of the faster-growing Protea species, reaching 2 m in about 8 years, flowering in its second year from seed, and can live for many years under correct conditions.

Will tolerate alkaline and sandy soils, as well as strong coastal winds.
Distribution EDIT
Endemic to the southern Cape and occurs from Potberg and Riversdale to Robinson Pass. This exclusively coastal protea grows in close proximity to the sea on deep, white, slightly calcareous sands, often found where ecotones of fynbos and thicket merge. It also occurs on clay-textured tertiary gravels and is found adjacent to limestone outcrops. This protea is therefore salt/wind hardy and will tolerate alkaline soils. It occurs at altitudes of 0–200 m in a winter rainfall area.
History EDIT
Ideal as a wind-break.
Will attract birds to your garden.
Ecology EDIT
Currently not threatened. Previously it was considered Vulnerable as its habitat was threatened by invasion by alien plants, in particular the Australian Acacia cyclops (rooikrans).

Too frequent fire is a threat because, if a fire comes too soon after an earlier fire, the plants have not had enough time to build up sufficient seed reserves. Too infrequent fire is a threat because in older populations, after 30–40 years, the mature, seed-bearing plants start to die, and this causes the seed bank to decline until there are not enough seeds to maintain a viable population.
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