Piketberg Conebush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron discolor E.Phillips & Hutch.
Higher Classification
Common Names
Piketberg Conebush (e), Red Conebush (e), Rooi-tolbos (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
EOO 167 km², AOO 81 km², five locations are declining due to habitat loss to wild flower harvesting, crop cultivation and infrequent fires. Subpopulations are small and affected by skewed sex ratios as a result of biased mortality. Hybridization with cultivated species within the habitat is a potential threat.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Piketberg Sandstone Fynbos
This species occurs on rocky sandstone slopes, 250-1000 m. 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 insect-pollinated male and female flowers occurring on separate plants.
Past threats include clearing of vegetation in the valley for fruit and protea orchards. The significant threat to this species is lack of fire as these serotinous species suffer from old age, and once dead there is no seed bank. Another threat is wild flower harvesting. Male plants are harvested for cut flowers resulting in skewed sex ratio of male to females. This species is widely cultivated and there is a potential of hybridization with planted plants (cultivars). Frequent fires could also be a problem, as they may not allow the species sufficient time to regenerate from seed.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron discolor E.Phillips & Hutch.VU B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Leucadendron discolor E.Phillips & Hutch.Rare Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Leucadendron discolor E.Phillips & Hutch.Rare 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 discolor E.Phillips & Hutch. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/12/04

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Distribution map

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