The Protea family was named after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his shape at will. Protea genus differ extensively in shape and size, hence the name.
Family Proteaceae has approximately 1400 species. Australia harbours about 800 species, Africa about 400, South America some 90.
The Southwestern Cape alone is represented by some 360 species.
Of the 360 odd species in Southern Africa, more than 125 appear in the Red data book for species in imminent danger of extinction.