Wolseley Conebush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron spirale (Salisb. ex Knight) I.Williams
Higher Classification
Leucadendron scabrum R.Br.
Common Names
Wolseley Conebush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Collected in 1801 and 1819 and last seen in 1933. Extensive searches in the 1960s and 1990s, the latter accompanied by a reward of R1000, have yielded no sign of the species. It is serotinous and unlikely to survive as seeds in soil-stored seedbanks. Cause of extinction is unknown, but is likely the result of habitat loss to crop cultivation, alien plant invasion and afforestation.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Breede River Valley between Wolseley and Botha.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
This species occurs in riverine and swampy areas. Mature individuals are killed by fires, and only seeds survive. Wind-dispersed seeds are stored in fire-resistant inflorescences, and released after fires. It is dioecious, with wind-pollinated male and female flowers occurring on separate plants.
Timber plantations, and agriculture have caused habitat loss at all the known locations. Plantations are no longer expanding within the known range of this species, but remaining habitat is often densely infested with alien invasive plants, especially near plantations, where escaping pine seedlings spread into adjacent fynbos. It has also been misidentified Passerina and easily overlooked in vegetation surveys and environmental impact assessments.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron spirale (Salisb. ex Knight) I.WilliamsExtinct Raimondo et al. (2009)
Leucadendron spirale (Salisb. ex Knight) I.WilliamsExtinct Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Leucadendron spirale (Salisb. ex Knight) I.WilliamsExtinct 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, 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 spirale (Salisb. ex Knight) I.Williams. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2021/09/23

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Distribution map

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