The Proteaceae are mostly southern hemisphere tropical and subtropical evergreen shrubs and trees comprising about 75 genera and 1,000 species. The leaves are simple, estipulate, and mostly alternate. The flowers are actinomorphic or zygomorphic, mostly perigynous, and often in dense cone-like inflorescences or heads with involucral bracts. The perianth is uniseriate, 4-parted, and valvate, with one stamen adnate to and opposite each lobe. The gynoecium consists of a single, simple pistil with a single long style that is often bent back on itself (at least in bud), a single stigma, and a superior, often stipitate ovary with one locule containing 1-many, usually marginal ovules. The fruit is a follicle, achene, samara, or drupe.
Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.
||Grevillea robusta, silky oak. Note the uniseriate perianth (i.e., calyx) split open on one side basally but fully enveloping the stigma and distal portion of the hooked style above. Note also the small ovary on a short stipe just above the base of the perianth.|
|Grevillea glabrata. In the upper flower, note the recurved lobes of the calyx, each with an adnate stamen. The stipe on the ovary is more conspicuous in the lower flowers after abscission of the sepals.|
|Grevillea banksii, kahili flower.|
|Leucospermum sp. Note that some flowers of the head have 'opened' i.e., the style has straightened and pulled out of the calyx, exposing the stamens on the inner face of the calyx lobes.|
|Macadamia integrifolia, source of delicious macadamia nuts.|
|Stenocarpus sinuatis. Note the stipitate ovary, uniseriate perianth, and curved style in bud. 1-3 - UH Campus, Honolulu, HI, 2004.|
||Protea cynarioides, protea.|
|Protea mundii. Note the flowering head with involucral bracts similar to those in the sunflower family.|
Plant Family Access Page