King Protea flowers are unique -- even bizarre -- but they're also undeniably beautiful. The rare, oversized bulb appears as a brightly colored, petaled orb, but once the bloom opens, it resembles a shining star or an elaborate crown.
The King Protea is so striking, in fact, that it stands out in any arrangement, regardless of the accompanying flowers. Its colors range from creamy white to dark red, being generally lighter at the base and darkening steadily toward the petals' tips. Though the evergreen shrub originated in South Africa (where the blooms hold the honor of being the country's national flower), it's now grown all over the world. Make a special request far in advance if you want to feature King Protea at a dinner party -- it's not readily available in many flower shops.