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Protea burchellii

Archive entry 15.03.15
Archive entry 27.03.16

8th March 2014 4th October 2014 4th October 2014 7th March 2015 11th March 2015
I have wanted to grow a Protea for several years now. I don't think that the garden is warm enough but I hope that conditions in the Agave house might suit them. I don't think that the cold is the main issue, but the combination of cold and clinging wetness is likely to be fatal. I bought a seedling from Plantbase in 2014 and was pleased when it established rapidy in the Agave house.

The Planzafrica website says:

"Burchell's sugarbush is an erect, evergreen shrub, 1-2 x 3 m. Branches are produced from a single stem. Leaves are olive-green with fine black points, linear to narrowly oblong. Flower heads are up to 100 x 70 mm, the flowers are cream-coloured to deep carmine. Fruits with nut seeds, are retained and stored on plants. It is a moderately fast grower, flowering within two years from planting out into correct growing conditions."
"Protea burchellii occurs in varied habitats and seems to prefer rich, well-drained soils, in full sun on the lower mountain slopes at altitudes of 100-850 m. It is found in the Hottentots-Holland to Olifants River Mountains, the Cape to Hopefield Flats, Piketberg and the upper Breede River Valley. It also occurs in isolated populations at Witzenbergvlakte."

Growing in rich soils made it a good choice for the Agave house. Some Protea are intolerant of phosphates, which are plentiful in the soils of Cornwall.
The plant grew fast, flowered easily but died at the end of 2016 when it was smothered by a peony.
The species was named after William John Burchell (1781 - 1863) who travelled in South Africa from 1810 to 1815.

9th March 2016 9th March 2016 25th March 2016


  • Plantzafrica, https://pza.sanbi.org/protea-burchellii (accessed 26.12.2023).