Needle-leaf Conebush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron teretifolium (Andrews) I.Williams
Higher Classification
Leucadendron abietinum R.Br.
Common Names
Needle-leaf Conebush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B2ab(ii,iii)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
This species is listed as Near Threatened based on occupancy (AOO <1580 km²). The population continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss, alien plant invasion and drought-related mortality events. It is wind-pollinated and typically occur in very dense stands - scattered plants should be checked for seed set.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Witteberg and Kleinrivier mountains to Riversdale.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
North Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos, Hangklip Sand Fynbos, Agulhas Sand Fynbos, Breede Sand Fynbos, Elim Ferricrete Fynbos, Potberg Ferricrete Fynbos, Matjiesfontein Shale Fynbos, Elgin Shale Fynbos, Greyton Shale Fynbos, Montagu Shale Fynbos, Swellendam Silcrete Fynbos, Breede Quartzite Fynbos, Breede Shale Renosterveld, North Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, South Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos, Ruens Silcrete Renosterveld, Western Ruens Shale Renosterveld, Central Ruens Shale Renosterveld, Eastern Ruens Shale Renosterveld, Mossel Bay Shale Renosterveld, Matjiesfontein Shale Renosterveld, Montagu Shale Renosterveld, Matjiesfontein Quartzite Fynbos
Although a fynbos species, it also occurs within the renosterveld ecotone. 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.
More than half of the habitat has been lost in past due to agriculture (cereals, fruit, vines). The area of occupancy is declining due to expanding agricultural fields. There is ongoing degradation of habitat by alien species (Hakeas, Acacia and Wattle all over the rivers). There are some dieback seen in the Leucadendron plants. Lack of fires due to poor management of remaining patches is likely to be threat.

This species occur in extremely dense, isolated stands (Rebelo 2001).

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron teretifolium (Andrews) I.WilliamsNT B1ab(ii)+2ab(ii)Raimondo et al. (2009)

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.

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.

Vlok, J. and Schutte-Vlok, A.L. 2010. Plants of the Klein Karoo. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.

Rebelo, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2019. Leucadendron teretifolium (Andrews) I.Williams. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/07/06

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Distribution map

© D. Turner

© S. Falanga

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

© L. von Staden

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