Green is leaf colour, normally? Not the regular presentation feature of flowers, surely? But Protea coronata succeeds majestically in light green! (Called apple-green in the literature, although that colour apple, the Granny Smith, has these days lost its market position in favour of other colours!)
P. coronata, or the apple-green protea if you will, has flowerheads often hiding partially behind the upper leaves of stem tops. The inflorescence has long silvery hairs along the margins of the floral bracts, making it one of the bearded proteas. The cup-shape of the flowerhead is characteristically narrow and oblong. The bunched thread-like individual flowers that make up the flowerhead jut out in one fluffy knob above the tops of the incurved tips of the inner, longest involucral bracts that encircle them. The colour of this hairy protrusion varies between white, black and reddish brown.
The shrub itself is erect and branched from the single main stem at the base. The lanceolate leaves point upwards, adding to the plant’s appeal through the silvery hairs covering them. Leaf colours are grey-green to blue-green, sometimes tinged with red or coppery. The name coronata (crown in Latin) is derived from the shape of the ring of involucral bract tips at the top of the flowerhead.
At various times in the past this species had the names P. macrocephala and P. incompta (Rourke, 1980; www.plantzafrica.com; www.hortusb.com).