Purple-leaf Conebush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron pubibracteolatum I.Williams
Higher Classification
Common Names
Purple-leaf Conebush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1ac(iv)+2ac(iv)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
EOO 12463 km², AOO 384 km², extreme fluctuations in number of mature individuals have been observed in small, isolated, severely fragmented subpopulations. Unexplained population decline has also been observed, but it is not certain whether this is natural post-fire decline or not. Even though between one-third and half of subpopulations are conserved, precaution suggests that this species needs careful monitoring.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Western Cape
Eastern Swartberg and Outeniqua to Baviaanskloof mountains.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Kango Conglomerate Fynbos, Kouga Grassy Sandstone Fynbos, Kouga Sandstone Fynbos, South Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos, North Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos, South Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos, Tsitsikamma Sandstone Fynbos, South Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos, North Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos
Dry, stony sandstone slopes, 300-1000 m. Mature individuals are killed by fires, and only seeds survive. Seeds are released after ripening, and collected by rodents and stored in underground caches, where they are protected from fires. It is dioecious, with insect-pollinated male and female flowers occurring on separate plants.
Although more than half of the species' habitat is in protected areas, the remaining habitat outside these areas is infested by alien invasive plants. More than 50% of the subpopulations are small in size and naturally fragmented from each other. There is ongoing degradation of habitat due to too frequent fires, and the fluctuation of the number of mature individuals has been observed by Protea atlassers. It is suspected that the unexplained population declines and recruitment failure observed may have been due to drying up of the south facing slopes.

The subpopulations comprise a small number of isolated plants, only a few have densities of more than 100 plants, and the largest found in Rooikransfontein.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron pubibracteolatum I.WilliamsNT B1ac(iv)+2ac(iv)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Leucadendron pubibracteolatum I.WilliamsNot Threatened Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Rebelo, T. 2001. Sasol Proteas: A field guide to the proteas of southern Africa. (2nd ed.). Fernwood Press, Vlaeberg, Cape Town.

Rebelo, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2019. Leucadendron pubibracteolatum I.Williams. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/01/23

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Distribution map

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