Nodding Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea pendula R.Br.
Higher Classification
Common Names
Knikkopsuikerbos (a), Nodding Sugarbush (e), Ondersteboknopprotea (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Protea pendula has a restricted range with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 5 637 km². It is known from 43 subpopulations that are scattered across its range. Most of these are not declining and this species is not in danger of extinction. It is listed as Least Concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is endemic to the mountains of the Western Cape Province, South Africa, where it occurs from the Cederberg to the Cold Bokkeveld near Ceres, and east to Tweeside.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
South Hex Sandstone Fynbos, North Hex Sandstone Fynbos, Winterhoek Sandstone Fynbos, Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos, Western Altimontane Sandstone Fynbos, Olifants Sandstone Fynbos, Matjiesfontein Quartzite Fynbos, Swartruggens Quartzite Fynbos
It is found on arid upper sandstone slopes and cliffs, 900-2000 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 pollinated by birds.
A very small proportion (4%) of its habitat has been lost to agriculture (fruit orchards) and exotic timber plantations. However, since this species is scattered in dry montane areas that are unsuited to agriculture, the overall rate of habitat loss is very low (3% in 24 years). Other minor threats noted during field surveys are habitat degradation due to presence of alien invasive plants, overgrazing, as well as inappropriate fire management. As a reseeder, this species is vulnerable to increases in fire frequencies.

Plants are usually scattered, in isolated subpopulations. About 50% of subpopulations occur on private and provincial reserves, and the population is not suspected to be declining.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea pendula R.Br.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.

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. Protea pendula R.Br. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/17

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Distribution map

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