Proclaimed as South Africa’s national flower in 1976, the king protea (Protea cynaroides) is a flowering bush as beautiful and unique as the country itself. Found exclusively in the Cape Floristic Region, the king protea belongs to the Protea genus, which is in turn part of the Proteaceae family – a group that includes around 1,350 different species. However, there is still nothing quite like seeing South Africa’s national flower growing wild on Table Mountain or in the Cedarberg. The species is also known as giant protea, honeypot or king sugar bush. King protea has flattened, paddle-shaped leaves.