This piece is a watercolor painting of some of my favorite flowers and leaves of Hawaii. The protea, native to South Africa are also known as Sugarbushes and symbolize diversity, courage and longivity.
The name protea was inspired by Greek mythology. The son of the sea-god Poseidon, Proteus was known for his wisdom. He knew all things, from past to present and future, but he didn’t want to share his knowledge with others. To avoid being caught by those seeking his insights, he would change his shape and escape. The protea was named after him, due to its many shapes and colors.
As one of the most ancient flowers, it’s not surprising that proteas have gained symbolic meanings throughout history. Here are some of them:
A Symbol of Longevity – It’s said that these blooms date back to around 300 million years, making them among the oldest flowers we know. This associates the protea with longevity and long life.
A Representation of Diversity – Named after a Greek god with chameleon-like capabilities, it’s no wonder that the flower symbolizes diversity. It’s also associated with cultural harmony and embracing one’s uniqueness. After all, this beautiful bloom is unique in so many ways, and can be found in multitude of colors and shapes.
Change and Transformation – In African culture, these flowers represent metamorphosis and transformation.
Resilience and Courage – The fact that proteas have existed for so long and that they can withstand the toughest of weather conditions—even wildfires, make them the perfect symbol for strength, resilience and courage. s
Beauty and Individuality – In some contexts, they also represent beauty, which is fitting for their exotic and unique appearance. When placed next to other beautiful flowers, proteas will surely stand out in any arrangement.
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