Protea angustata, a rhizomatous shrublet, is a lesser known and rare (also endangered) member of this illustrious genus. Underground branches of the deeper rootstock produce a few aerial stems, hardly visible or up to 30 cm in height and seldom branched. Every branch tip yields a tuft of leaves, allowing a mature plant to appear mat-like above-ground. While destruction of habitat by humans is serious in the case of this plant, fires can’t get to the vital parts.
The erect, needle-like leaves are hairless and between 12 cm and 25 cm in length. The leaf tapers towards the base and has an acute tip. Flowerheads have five or six rows of creamy green to apple-green bracts, half-hidden among the leaves that are taller. The bud is globose, the open flowerhead shallowly cup-shaped. The tubular flowers in the centre are topped by brown, velvety hairs. Flowers can be seen from midwinter to spring. They exude a yeasty odour (Rourke, 1980; www.plantzafrica.com).