Proteaceae species for summer rainfall climates

Of the more than 360 species that make up the family Proteaceae in South Africa, all but 30 are found only in the winter rainfall region of South Africa, known as The Cape Floral Kingdom. This area, which stretches from Nieuwoudtville in the north eastern part of the Western Cape Province to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province, includes the winter rainfall region of South Africa, those areas that are partially affected by this Mediterranean climate which often have their rain in autumn and spring, as well as areas which receive summer rainfall.

Despite the fact that Grahamstown, Bathurst, Port Alfred and all the coastal towns close-by are along the eastern reaches of this area, I have seen very few proteas being grown. Some 40 years ago my mom planted a variety of Proteaceae in her veld garden in Bathurst, where they were grown wild, have self-seeded and flowered year after year.

When I needed to replace some of the older ones, I turned to the experts for information. Many excellent websites and expert books later I found myself floundering in daunting and complicated information overload, much of which did not apply to our immediate climate.

To narrow the choices I compared species recommended for summer rainfall areas by: 

Silverhill Seeds (Many thanks to Rachel at

Finebush People ( ), and

those that have grown well in Bathurst.

But first, a visual feast of some of the summer rainfall members of the Protea family that have grown and flourished in Bathurst. 

Leucodendron argenteum
Leucodendron spissifolium
Leucospermum cordifolium
Leucospermum cuneiforme
Leucospermum muirii
Paranomus reflexus
Protea Aurea
Protea compacta
Protea cynaroides
Protea lacticolor
Protea neriifolia
Protea nitido
Protea obtusifolia
Protea pulchra
Protea repens white
Protea repens
Protea scolymocephala
Prptea eximia

Three recommendations

Protea aurea, Protea cynaroides, Protea eximia, Protea repens, Protea scolymocephala, Protea aurea

Leucospermum cuneiforme

Two recommendations

Protea compacta, Protea lacticolor, Protea lanceolata, Protea longifolia, Protea mundii, Protea neriifolia, Protea obtusifolia, Protea susannae

Leucodendron linifolium, Leucodendron meridianum, Leucodendron rubrum

Leucospermum cordifolium

One recommendation

Protea burchellii, Protea caffra, Protea comptonii, Protea curvata, Protea gaguedi, Protea laurifolia, Protea lorifolia, Protea lepidocarpodendron, Protea nitido, Protea pulchra, Protea subvestita

Leucodendron macowanii, Leucodendron muirii, Leucodendron spissifolium, Leucodendron coniferum, Leucodendron discolor, Leucodendron salignum, Leucodendron sessile, Leucodendron argentuliginosum subsp. uliginosum

Leucospermum glabrum, Leucospermum conocarpodendrum, Leucospermum pattersonii

Paranormus reflexus

Mimetes cucullata



What fantastic paintings!

I am really keen to try and grow some Leucospermum spp. here in the Fish River valley low altitudes, I can't think of any Proteacea that are abundant naturally here though. Looking forward the the article on obtaining and growing seeds.

Thank you for the list! I will definately be planting a few of these in my indigenous garden. Leigh, Pietermartizburg.

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