Hidden Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea recondita H.Buek ex Meisn.
Higher Classification
Common Names
Gesigtoehouprotea (a), Hidden Sugarbush (e), Skaamroos (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Protea recondita is a locally common species. It has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 4008 km², and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 272 km², but occurs at more than 10 locations. Unexplained population declines have been observed in some subpopulations. Fragmentation is increasing, but does not yet affect more than 50% of subpopulations. The overall population is declining as a result of inappropriate fire management, overgrazing by livestock and alien invasive species, it therefore nearly meets the threshold for Vulnerable under criterion B and is listed as Near Threatened.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species occurs from the Piketberg and Cederberg to Grootwinterhoek Mountains, in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Piketberg Sandstone Fynbos, Winterhoek Sandstone Fynbos, Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos
It grows on rocky, upper sandstone slopes, at 800-1800 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 rodents.
A very small proportion (4%) of the species' habitat has been transformed to fruit orchards in the past, and most of the remaining habitat is in protected areas. The northern subpopulations are naturally fragmented and small in size, and there is an unexplained decline of the population. It is currently threatened by ongoing degradation of habitat due to inappropriate fire management, overgrazing and infestation of habitat by alien invasive plants in the Cederberg and Keinwinterhoek mountains and some parts of Sandberg.

The species is still common and widespread in the southern third of its distribution range. However, the isolated northern subpopulations and the sole subpopulation on the Piketberg inselberg appear to be declining. The Piketberg subpopulation used to be known from several hundred plants, which all occurred in a core patch over 400 m in 1996. However, this subpopulation was down to two plants in 2004 (Helme, pers. obs.). Of the nine northern subpopulations, occurring as isolated patches spanning a range of 70 km, five are known from single plants, and the remaining four from 3-140 plants. The southern subpopulations are found in clumps of dense plants. Population decline is inferred from ongoing habitat loss and degradation.

Population trend
It is found within the Cederberg and Groot Winterhoek Nature Reserves.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea recondita H.Buek ex Meisn.NT B1ab(v)+2ab(v)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 recondita H.Buek ex Meisn. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/17

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Distribution map

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