Protea scolymocephala
“Thistle Protea”

Protea scolymocephala “Thistle Protea”Protea scolymocephala “Thistle Protea”

photos: JG in SF

I can't wait to take this cutie-pie (& super rare) Protea home! Said to be (relatively!) easy to grow, this dainty 3' shrub is densely branching & demure of color. Growing to just 3', it bears globe-shaped buds that are a soft green tinged with pink, & open to just 2”. This species is virtually unknown in cultivation. Most of its habitat has been lost to urbanization & invasive, non-native plants. The new growth shows very red stems! Here are a few tips for Protea success: the right soil is essential! Make sure it is free draining & nutrient poor. If you have clay soil, incorporate lots of rotted pine needles. Feed very carefully & judiciously with something phosphate free & slow releasing. A sandy, acid soil is preferred. Circulation around the plant is important, so I would try & give it breathing room if you can!

Claire Woods


USDA Zones 9-10