South Africans sometimes think the proteas to be unique to their plant world. The variety of proteas and other members of that family found in Australia, New Zealand, South America and elsewhere is, however, huge.
This confirms the existence of the ancestors of the Protea as far back as the time of Gondwanaland. When that vast land mass split, allowing the new continents to drift apart, whatever lived upon each of them continued to evolve separately, no longer in relation to their geographically lost relatives. The Proteaceae family thus constitutes a shared botanical heritage across continents.
Within each land area, isolated from each other by oceans, evolution of all the living species found there continued and is continuing. The absence of procreative contact among species allows for increasing differences conjured within each of the discrete ecologies.
Species evolving over time in response to challenges change more when dependent upon other species also evolving. These interaction effects multiply when all the living member species in the total ecology change in relation to all the others, albeit in responsive subclusters. Multiple mutuality comes to mind, to be gradually unravelled if data processing in multivariate contexts could crunch the numbers of measuring higher order interactions, the fun things we can't (yet) do on a really big scale in an increasing cluster of interrelated, multidisciplinary sciences.
Plants pollinated by differently evolved insects, birds and other animals, nurtured by organic material derived from sources becoming continually more complex, can make the biological universe expand enormously on just one planet, the earth; the only one where we know something about the life forms in existence. This might still be true although most evolutionary options remain dead-ends.
If humanity doesn't kill the biodiversity on earth, this process could expand astronomically, given the time. It may explode in complexity and diversity, similarly to what is happening at increasing speed among the countless galaxies of the expanding universe out there. Selfish genes can't be denied.