I was up on Swartkransberg overlooking Walker Bay on the weekend and came across Protea speciosa in full flower. It has leaves with thickened margins that are 90-160 mm long and 10-60 mm wide. The flowerheads have closely packed brown fringed flowering bracts giving the plant its common name the brown beard sugarbush. It is a resprouting species that is able to survive fire and resprout from its woody underground stem. Typical of sprouting proteas it is seldom seen in dense colonies but rather as scattered plants. It is restricted to acidic soils from the Cape Peninsula to Bredasdorp.
So why a fynbos blog? We have always been fascinated by the remarkable flora of the Cape. From a distance it looks like dull grey-green stuff, but get up close and you will find that it is teeming with life, is full of fascinating stories and has many uses. Enjoy!