Ceres Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea pityphylla E.Phillips
Higher Classification
Common Names
Bergroos (a), Ceres Sugarbush (e), Long-leaved Mountain Rose (e), Mountain Rose (e), Skaamblom (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened D2
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Protea pityphylla has a very restricted range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 832 km², and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 88 km². It is known from eight locations and is potentially vulnerable to alien plant invasion and too frequent fires, which could rapidly increase its risk of extinction, but it is not localized enough to become Critically Endangered or Extinct, and therefore only nearly meets the criteria thresholds for Vulnerable under criterion D2. It is listed as Near Threatened.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species occurs in the mountains of the Western Cape Province, South Africa, from the Skurweberg to the Hex River Mountains.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
North Hex Sandstone Fynbos, Winterhoek Sandstone Fynbos
It grows in high altitude shale band fynbos, at 500-1800 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 and insects.
A large subpopulation above Ceres was eliminated during the enlarging of the municipal dam in the past. The remaining subpopulations are relatively safe but are potentially threatened by alien plant invasion of their habitat. Furthermore, as a serotinous reseeder, this species is potentially vulnerable to too frequent fires. Local extinctions can occur if fires repeatedly kill individuals before they reach reproductive maturity.

This species is locally frequent in small, isolated stands of a few dozen plants. Many subpopulations are protected within mountain reserves. The largest subpopulations has over 20 000 estimated mature individuals, found at Witsenberg and Zuurberg. The population is stable, but is likely to decline if alien invasive plants are left unmanaged.

Population trend
It falls within the Ceres Mountain Fynbos, Ben Etive and Fonteintjiesberg nature reserves.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea pityphylla E.PhillipsVU D22020.1
Protea pityphylla E.PhillipsNT D2Raimondo et al. (2009)
Protea pityphylla E.PhillipsNot Threatened Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Protea pityphylla E.PhillipsRare 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.

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. 2020. Protea pityphylla E.Phillips. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/21

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Distribution map

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