Cross-pollination is however preferred as a method of reproduction because it provides genetic diversity in the population.
This cultivation method allows for the cultivation of hybrid protea plants without the loss of their unique characteristics.
92% of the species occurs only in the Cape Floristic Region, a narrow belt of mountainous coastal land from Clanwilliam to Grahamstown, South Africa.
The extraordinary richness and diversity of species characteristic of the Cape Flora are thought to be caused in part by the diverse landscape where populations can become isolated from each other and in time develop into separate species.
The family Proteaceae to which Proteas belong is an ancient one among angiosperms.
Evidence from pollen fossils suggests Proteaceae ancestors grew in Gondwana, in the Upper Cretaceous, 75-80 million years ago.