Limestone Conebush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron meridianum I.Williams
Higher Classification
Common Names
Limestone Conebush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1b(ii,iii,v)+2b(ii,iii,v)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
This species has a restricted distribution range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 7 652 km², and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 1 560 km². It is still very common, occurring at more than 10 locations, but a continuing decline is inferred from ongoing habitat loss to coastal development and competition from alien invasive plants. Therefore it nearly meets the criteria thresholds for Vulnerable under criterion B. It is listed as Near Threatened.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
It is endemic to South Africa, and is found on the coastal flats of the southern Western Cape between Gansbaai and Gouritsmond.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Blombos Strandveld, Overberg Dune Strandveld, Potberg Sandstone Fynbos, Overberg Sandstone Fynbos, Canca Limestone Fynbos, De Hoop Limestone Fynbos, Agulhas Limestone Fynbos, Albertinia Sand Fynbos, Agulhas Sand Fynbos, Hartenbos Dune Thicket
It occurs mainly on limestone flats near the coast, 0-200 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.
At least 15% of this species' habitat is irreversibly modified, predominantly due to habitat loss to coastal development and agricultural expansion. There is slow, sporadic ongoing loss, but more concerning is the fact that at least 20% of still intact limestone fynbos is densely infested with alien invasive plants that are outcompeting native species. Efforts are ongoing to clear invasive species in protected areas such as De Hoop Nature Reserve and the Agulhas National Park, but is proving extremely difficult due to persistent seed banks. Outside protected areas invasive plants have in many places completely replaced native species, but the impact of these invasives on native species such as L. meridianum is not known due to the lack of long term monitoring data.

This species is abundant, occurring in many large, dense subpopulations numbering thousands of individuals. The population trend is not known, but it is suspected to be declining.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron meridianum I.WilliamsNT B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)2020.1
Leucadendron meridianum I.WilliamsLeast 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.

Manning, J.C. and Goldblatt, P. 2012. Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 1: The Core Cape Flora. Strelitzia 29. South African National Biodiversity 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 meridianum I.Williams. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/06/21

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Distribution map

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