Wabooms Conebush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron sericeum (Thunb.) R.Br.
Higher Classification
Common Names
Wabooms Conebush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
EOO 36 km², the number of mature individuals at one known location continue to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation as a result of crop cultivation, too infrequent fire, wetland drainage, groundwater extraction and road construction. Fire-related fluctuations in number of mature individuals occur.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Koue Bokkeveld, Waboomsrivier.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos, Kouebokkeveld Alluvium Fynbos
Largely confined to sandy bottomlands in Cederberg sandstone fynbos. Mature individuals are killed by fires, and only seeds survive. Seeds are relased after ripening, and dispersed by ants to their underground nests, where they are protected from predation and fire. It is dioecious, with insect-pollinated male and female flowers occuring on separate plants.
Habitat loss to crop cultivation has severely reduced this species' population. Plants remain in a small remnant of natural vegetation and are threatened by too infrequent fire, groundwater extraction and road construction. Repeated applications for further conversion of this species' habitat for cultivation have been turned down. Continued strict conservation measures are required to prevent the extinction of this species.

A single subpopulation of a few thousand plants remain. A few plants remain in road verges and small fragments elsewhere in the former range of this species, but these are not considered viable subpopulations.

Population trend
The only known viable subpopulation of this species occurs on privately owned land and has no formal protection.
This is a variant of a very variable species L. nitidum, but a particularly extreme form. While there is dissension as to its requiring specific status, it is universally agreed to be distinctive.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron sericeum (Thunb.) R.Br.CR B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Leucadendron sericeum (Thunb.) R.Br.Endangered Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Leucadendron sericeum (Thunb.) R.Br.Indeterminate Hall et al. (1980)

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.

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

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, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2011. Leucadendron sericeum (Thunb.) R.Br. 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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