My parents have come home from their vacation in South Africa and brought me some seeds to try out. I have quite an affinity with South African flora and the artichoke like flowers of the Protea family are very charming. I have a packet of mixed Leucadendron, Protea Eximia and Protea Neriifolia. These particular Protea are known to be relatively easy to grow.
The fluffy seeds seen here are the Protea seed and the black seeds are the Leucadendron mix. In their natural habitat they germinate following the fires that occasionally rage in the fynbos. I don't have any smoke primers and I havn't had any success with burning some pine needles on top of some other SA seeds I once tried so I am taking a gamble and planting them without any smokey preparation. I'm planting them in pots that should be big enough to handle a year of growth. I'm using regular seed starter soil because it is both quite sandy and low in nutrients which the Protea like. If enough of these germinate I might experiment a bit with their hardiness and I might even plant out one or two in a well drained acidic spot. They can handle a bit of frost but not much so I will need to think a bit on what protection to use. First things first though; germination.