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Proteas of Swaziland

Kate Braun has provided this "simultaneous key" for comparing characters in Swaziland proteas. The most useful feature of the key is that it rapidly allows one to identify the features that characterize the different species. Thus using the key, if you have a shrublet, with erect, unbranched stems you must have Pr simp. The plant must also have leaves not secund. A hairless-stemmed plant with large (> 70 mm long) flowerheads is probably Pr cptn.

FAUREA     galp sali macn roch
Habitat Usually shrub like tree   J      
  Medium to tall trees     K K K
Height   Less than 5 m K m   m
    5 to 10 m m K m K
    Over 10 m     J  
Leaves Width Less than 20 mm m J    
    20 - 25 mm K      
    25 - 30 mm     K K
    Over 30 mm       J
Leaves Length Less than 20 mm   K   m
    100 - 150 mm K K m K
    Over 150 mm     K K
Spikes Width Less than 10 mm J      
(= flower heads)   20 - 30 mm   K K  
    Over 30 mm       J
Spikes Length Less than 100 mm m     K
    100 - 150 mm K K K K
    Over 150 mm     m K
Flowers Stalked   J      
(Florets) Stalkless     K K K
Flowering time August,September     K   K
  October, November   K K    
  Decem., January, February   K K K  
  March - July       K  
Fruit grey hairs   K   K  
  whitish-yellow hairs     J J  
Leaf stalk Short and thick, underside
densely hairy when young
  Stalk 20cm long     J    

J = diagnostic, K = useful, m = occasionally present

PROTEA   caff simp parv comp gagu welw roup
Habit Shrublet J J J        
  Robust shrub or tree K     K K K K
Stems Hairless J K K J      
  Hairy when young, ageing to sparsely hairy         J J K
Stems Erect, unbranched   J          
  Creeping, often branched     J        
Leaves Leaves secund (pointing upwards)     J        
  Leaves not secund K J   K K K K
Leaves Hairless K K K K K m m
  Hairy m       m K  
Leaf Width Less 10 mm m K K        
  10 to 20 mm K K K   K m m
  20 to 30 mm K m   m K K K
  30 to 40 mm K     K   K K
  40 to 50 mm m     K     K
Leaf Length 50 - 100 mm m K K   m K  
  100 - 150 mm K m K m K m K
  150 - 200 mm K     K K   K
  200 - 250 mm K     K      
Wine glass shaped, involucral bracts erect, inside hidden             J
  Bowl shaped, involucral bracts splayed, inside visible K K K K K K  
Flowerheads In clusters of 2 to 5         m J  
  Solitary K K K K K   K
Flower head Diameter to 50 mm m K K     K  
  50 - 75 mm K K K   K K  
  75 - 100 mm m     J     K
  Over 100 mm       J      
Outer involucral bracts Rusty brown hairs on outer surface           J  
  Silvery hairs on outer surface m       J   K
  Hairless on outer surface J K K        
Inner involucral bracts Spoon shaped             J
  Not spoon shaped K K K K K K  

J = diagnostic, K = useful, m = occasionally present

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