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The King

The King
Photo Information
Copyright: Japie Venter (japie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-08-10
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Sigma 170-500mm APO, Skylight
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/160 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Flowers, plants and fungi of Southern Africa [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-09-04 9:42
Viewed: 6596
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I like to start my flower/plant postings with our (South Africa) national flower which is one of my favourites as well.

Protea cynaroides

Family: Proteaceae.

Common names: King Protea, Grootsuikerkan(Afrikaans).

Surely the best known protea, prized worldwide as a magnificent cut flower and in South Africa honoured as the national flower.
Protea cynaroides is part of an ancient plant family, the Proteaceae, which had already divided into two subfamilies before the break-up of the Gondwanaland continent about 140 million years ago. Both subfamilies, the Proteoideae and the Grevilleoideae, occur mainly in the southern hemisphere. In southern Africa there are about 360 species, mainly from the subfamily Proteoideae, of which more than 330 species are confined to the Cape Foral Kingdom, between Nieuwoudtville in the northwest and Grahamstown in the east. Protea cynaroides belongs to the genus Protea, which has more than 92 species, subspecies and varieties. Other well-known genera of the Proteaceae are the Leucospermum with the brightly coloured "pincushion" flowers, Leucadendron with yellow or red-brown foliage and Serruria, of which the Serruria florida or "Blushing Bride" with its pale pink flowers is widely used in bridal bouquets. Plants in the subfamily Grevilleoideae occur mainly in Australia.
The amazing variety in plant size, habit, flower size and colour of the genus Protea was the reason it was named after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his shape at will. The flower bud of Protea cynaroides looks remarkably like the globe artichoke vegetable with the Latin name of Cynara scolymus and this led the botanist Linnaeus to give it the species name cynaroides.
Protea cynaroides has one of the widest distribution ranges of all the Proteaceae and occurs from the Cedarberg in the northwest to Grahamstown in the east. It occurs on all mountain ranges in this area, except for the dry interior ranges, and at all elevations, from sea level to 1500 meters high. The combination of the different climatic conditions with the large range of localities has resulted in a large variety of leaf- and flower sizes, as well as flower colours and flowering times.
Protea cynaroides is a woody shrub with thick stems and large dark green, glossy leaves. Most plants are one metre in height when mature, but may vary according to locality and habitat from 0.35 m to 2 metres in height.
The "flowers" of Protea cynaroides are actually flower heads with a collection of flowers in the centre, surrounded by large colourful bracts. The flowerheads vary in size, from about 120 mm to 300 mm in diameter. Large, vigorous plants produce six to ten flower heads in one season, although some exceptional plants can produce up to forty flower heads on one plant. The colour of the bracts varies from a creamy white to a deep crimson, but the soft pale pink bracts with a silvery sheen are the most prized.

RAP, PDP, AndyB, carper, Callie, CaptiveLight, gerhardt, jhm, Lourens, nwoehnl, Rubys, coasties has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Plant Storiesingridshaul 1 12-14 07:06
To kooreman: Long notesjapie 1 09-05 16:40
To carper: Japie/Jaapjapie 2 09-05 03:24
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-09-04 11:21]

Espectacular flor Japie... desconocía que fuera la flor nacional.
Gran composicion... mostrando una totalmente abierta y otra cerrada.
Bellos tonos, excelente nitidez y presentacion general.
Interesante el contenido de tus notas tambien.

Spectacular flower Japie... I did not know that be the national flower.
Great composition... showing one totally open and closed other.
Beautiful tones, excellent clearness and general presentation.
Interesting the content of your notes also.

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2004-09-04 12:38]

I like everything on this photo: title(!), composition, colours, etc. Bravo! Plus amazing Photographer's Note!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-09-04 13:18]

Fantastic shot, composition is superb. I've never seen this flower before and thansk for including is in flower and bud. Very good work. Great note.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2004-09-04 14:32]

A very nice shot.
Lovely colours and very good composition.
Excellent work on the note too.
Very well done.

Weet je zeker dat hij niet is ingevoerd,
Geintje, Little joke, very good composition Japie. Why they call you Japie and not Jaap.
Good composition perfect dof, very good colours. Perfect note

  • Great 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2004-09-04 14:50]

Good note, good compo with the full bloom & bud, including the leaves. Keep them rolling.

Good details and colours there. Excellent note

Yes! You start with the big guns blazing. This is our pride and joy. Love the open close effect. Great one Japie.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2004-09-05 3:22]

Perfecte nota Japie, o zo mooi scherp en zacht, de ene bloem mooi in bloei en de andere nog de knop, excellent composition. Groot werk hier!

yes, Japie, one of the most beautifull of our proteas. Oh I wish I could be in the Cape this time of the year - just for the floral splendour and especially the fynbos.

Wow, what a beauty. I am learning a lot from this photo and your note as I have to admit my knowledge about SA's national flower was limited so far ;-) Very well composed with good colors and detail, and of course the treat is to be able to see it with opened flower, and as a closed bud, within a single frame. Well done and thanks, Japie.

A great shot. I, too, particularly like the opened and closed flower being shot in one frame. If you should ever lose your camera, I'd think you could also write the text for floral reference books. Well done on both counts!

Japie, I love your shot for the flowers and the composition. It would have been nice if the green leafs of the top flower would be included and not cut off.
I am not in favour of these long notes as I often do not have the time to study them.
Very nice shot.
Greetings, Jan

Great composition. Excellent DOF. Crisp and clear photo. Very nice

Dear Japie,
Protea cynaroides is indeed very interesting: once the seeds of the sugar bush have been fertilised, they become covered by bracts of tough asbestos-like fibre. This bracts will not open until a bush fire has scorched them. Then only the seeds emerge to colonise the fire cleared land. Apparently, this is the base of Asbestos cloth, used to smother kitchen fires...

I like very much the lauout in your photo: starting with a few leaves in the top left corner - the bud - some more leaves framing the Protea and ending with leaves in the foreground!

It is a "peaceful" image, focus and depth of field well controlled creating a blurred back ground.

I especially appreciate the natural colours.

A beautiful flower, beautifully presented.

Have a nice week,
Kind regards

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