Hamilton's Silver Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea roupelliae Meisn. subsp. hamiltonii Beard ex Rourke
Higher Classification
Common Names
Hamilton's Silver Sugarbush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered A2ac; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
One subpopulation remains within an EOO of 27 km² and AOO of ± 1 km². Two of the three known subpopulations are now extinct. The single remaining subpopulation numbers fewer than 1000 mature individuals. Ongoing threats include afforestation, alien plant invasion, water table depletion and transformation of surrounding vegetation, too infrequent fire, altered drainage as a result of road construction and canalization, and overgrazing.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Barberton Montane Grassland
Bare, leached clay soils over quartzite in montane grassland, 1300 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.
Threats include: afforestation (pines), alien (pines) species causing water table depletion, alien landscape transformation (acidification is occurring and plants may have and intolerance, thus, making them look sick and causing high mortality and a low seed bank), too-infrequent fire in grasslands, canalization and altered drainage (by roads), road building (through the remnant population), alien invasive species (Pinus, Bugweed and Bramble), agricultural preparation (deep ripping through the remnant to establish pines), overgrazing (by common duiker, Sylvicarpa grimmia).

Some 180 plants were counted in 2002 (Schmidt et al. 2002). The subpopulation is not setting seed, therefore, fires would be have an adverse effect, however, they appear senescent and may require a fire for recruitment. A follow-up count in 2015 recorded a healthy population of at least 670 plants, with many seedlings (B. du Preez pers. comm. 2015).

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea roupelliae Meisn. subsp. hamiltonii Beard ex RourkeCR A2ac; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(ii)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Protea roupelliae Meisn. subsp. hamiltonii Beard ex RourkeEndangered Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Protea roupelliae Meisn. subsp. hamiltonii Beard ex RourkeRare Hall et al. (1980)

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.

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, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2016. Protea roupelliae Meisn. subsp. hamiltonii Beard ex Rourke. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2021/09/17

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Distribution map

© B. du Preez

© B. du Preez

© M. Lötter

© C. Paterson-Jones

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