protea pink ice

proteaplant.jpgShown here with its last flowers of a long season that started last fall is Protea x Pink Ice, a hybrid between the species P. compacta and P. susannae. Although one of the growing guides says this stops at 5-7 feet tall, it’s now pushing 10 or more, egged on by a cool and moist winter.

The shrub is well-behaved, and responds well to gentle pruning. But you grow it because of its flowers, and they’re pretty exotic:

When I get all piney over not having a cold enough climate to properly grow lady’s slipper orchids or produce even a small apricot crop, seriously cool plants like this begin to make up for what I can’t do.

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