Jester protea

I fell in love with these colorful flower heads as soon as I spotted them in the South Africa section of Golden Gate Park’s Botanical Garden. My first impression was of a giant pearl, wrapped in white yarn and guarded by a circle of erect red petals. I later learned that each large flower head contains numerous flowers, and the red “petals” are actually leaves. The Jester protea’s conservation status is Near Threatened. You can learn more about Protea obtusifolia here.

Although this honeybee found the plant attractive, its main pollinator in South Africa is the Cape sugarbird

The berries in the background are not part of the protea plant!

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