Golden Sunshinebush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron laureolum (Lam.) Fourc.
Higher Classification
Leucadendron decorum R.Br.
Common Names
Golden Sunshinebush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Leucadendron laureolum has a wide range, with an Extent of Occurrence of 14 561 km². It has lost about 22% of its habitat, but is still very common over most of its range. Even though it is declining, it is not meeting or nearly meeting any of the criteria thresholds for a category of threat.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Leucadendron laureolum is widespread in the mountains and coastal flats of the southwestern part of the Western Cape. It occurs on the Cape Peninsula, Kogelberg, Hottentots Holland and Riviersonderend Mountains. It is also widespread on the sandy coastal lowlands between Bot River and Potberg.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Agulhas Limestone Fynbos, Agulhas Sand Fynbos, Albertinia Sand Fynbos, Elim Ferricrete Fynbos, Peninsula Granite Fynbos, Peninsula Shale Fynbos, Cape Winelands Shale Fynbos, Hangklip Sand Fynbos, Greyton Shale Fynbos, Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos, De Hoop Limestone Fynbos, Hawequas Sandstone Fynbos, Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, Overberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos, South Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos, Potberg Sandstone Fynbos, Elgin Shale Fynbos
It occurs in variable montane and lowland fynbos habitats, including sandstone, granite and limestone, but most common on deep sandy soils, 0-1000 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.
This species continues to decline on coastal flats due to habitat loss to coastal development, and urban expansion around Cape Town. About 22% of its habitat is already irreversibly modified. However, since it is also widespread and common in montane areas, where there is little to no ongoing habitat loss, the overall rate of habitat loss for this species is very low (1% in 24 years), and is unlikely to exceed 15% in three generations. It has lost habitat in the past to agricultural expansion in areas where it occurs in richer soils on the Agulhas Plain, but currently, the most severe threat in this area is competition from dense infestations of alien invasive plants that are outcompeting native species.

Subpopulations are large and extensive, and this species is still common over most of its range. It is possibly declining in coastal areas, but subpopulations in the mountains are not threatened and not suspected to be declining.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron laureolum (Lam.) Fourc.Least Concern 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.

Rebelo, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2019. Leucadendron laureolum (Lam.) Fourc. 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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