Friday, December 12, 2008

Protea farming

In the area to the west of Port Elizabeth there are several protea farms, especially in the eastern part of the Tsitsikamma. Proteas (more here and here) form part of the Cape Floral Kingdom or Fynbos biome. There are 8500 different plan species in the Fynbos biome, more than all the plant types in the whole of Britain. It is the world's smallest biome and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site (natural site) a couple of years ago.

On this farm they grow many different proteas as they flower at various times of the year and there is a demand all year around. This specific picture is the buds of the King Protea , South Africa's national flower.

All the flowers are picked by hand by the staff and transported to the shed where it is sorted. This specific protea is not really a flower but can be described more as coloured leaves. These are called Safari Sunsets.

In the shed they are sorted, pruned and stored in cold storage. From here they get packaged and most of them are exported. The biggest export markets are the flower markets of the Nederlands as well as Britain. One of the places that sell proteas from this specific farm is Harrods in London. Not too shabby.


  1. Blimey !!! Harrrods "tres Posh" us poor country folk dont dare to go there ;0). I had never heard of Protea, they are beautiful ! obviously they enjoy your fantastic weather, to have so many varieties is amazing.

  2. Yay! What a fantastic place! I would love to go there, with my love for photographing flowers it would be hard to make me leave!

  3. Amazing place! I would love to spend the afternoon there photographing those beautiful flowers.

  4. I didn't even read the words but just looked at the photos...b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l.