Witteberg Sunbush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron cadens I.Williams
Higher Classification
Common Names
Witteberg Sunbush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Leucadendron cadens is a localized habitat specialist, with an Extent of Occurrence of 146 km². It has no severe threats and is therefore not suspected to be in danger of extinction.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Leucadendron cadens is endemic to the Witteberg Mountain Range south of Matjiesfontein in the Little Karoo.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Matjiesfontein Quartzite Fynbos
This species occurs on rocky quartzitic ridges in dry montane fynbos, around 1500 m a.s.l. 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.
There are no severe threats to this species. Climate change modelling (Bomhard et al. 2005) did not predict any range shifts or reductions.

This species has a very limited distribution range, where it occurs in scattered clumps over a 20 km stretch of quartzitic ridges. As there are no significant threats, the population is not suspected to be declining.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron cadens I.WilliamsRare Raimondo et al. (2009)
Leucadendron cadens I.WilliamsRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Leucadendron cadens I.WilliamsRare Hall et al. (1980)

Bomhard, B., Richardson, D.M., Donaldson, J.S., Hughes, G.O., Midgley, G.F., Raimondo, D.C., Rebelo, A.G., Rouget, M. and Thuiller, W. 2005. Potential impacts of future land use and climate change on the Red List status of the Proteaceae in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Global Change Biology 11(9):1452-1468.

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 cadens I.Williams. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/01/23

Comment on this assessment Comment on this assessment
Distribution map

Search for images of Leucadendron cadens on iNaturalist