You are looking at a Protea plant.

This plant stands about five feet tall and the same dimension in width with many limbs of growth and obviously many years of producing exquisite flowers. This plant is very unique. I believe it is the only Protea growing in Garland Park. I have never seen another Protea plant in all my decades of hiking in Garland Park. Its origin is unique. The Protea is a South African Plant first popularized by a botanist in the 17th Century who saw the species at the Cape of Good Hope.

 

When I came across this stunning plant I was very excited. It is abundant, beautiful and tropical, yet surrounded by Oak trees, bushes and grass fully native to the Monterey Peninsula. How did it get here?

 

I was in awe at seeing the stages from bud to bloom on this plant. Carl Linnaeus named this plant appropriately in 1735 after the Greek God Proteus, (who could change his form at will.)

 

This plant has learned how to adapt. There are many types of Protea… from smaller flowering bushes to large flowering trees. Perhaps most often viewed by the public in tropical floral arrangements is the King Protea.

 

Garland Park continues to be a magnificent unfolding of nature. At first it seemed impossible that I was standing in front of this plant. A species native to Southern Africa growing amongst foliage that handles cold, snow, hot, drought, and rain. This plant inspires me. I have not viewed any other tropical plant like this in the park. The impossible has become reality.

 

I hope this plant inspires you to go after your dreams and thrive, despite possible adversity. This plant is living its mission and so can you!

 

Lesson:  Let the Impossible become the Probable and the Probable become the Inevitable.