The term 'protea' is used to cover a range of related plants in addition to the genus Protea, including Leucospermum and Leucadendron. Despite the frequent appearance of these 'proteas' in so-called "native" flower arrangements, they are not Australian plants. They are native to South Africa.
The genus Protea has given its name to a family of related plants (the Proteaceae) and there are are a number of Australian members of this "Protea family". These include Banksia, Grevillea, Hakea, Macadamia, Telopea (waratah) and many others.
|Left: King protea (Protea cynaroides) is a native of South Africa. Right: Banksia heliantha (syn. Dryandra quercifolia is a member of the Protea family and occurs in Western Australia. Photos: Brian Walters|