Brown-beard Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea speciosa (L.) L.
Higher Classification
Protea speciosa (L.) L. var. angustata Meisn.
Common Names
Baardsuikerkan (a), Baarsuikerbos (a), Brandhout (a), Brown-beard Sugarbush (e), Brown-bearded Protea (e), Kreupelboom (a), Kreupelbos (a), Kreupelbossie (a), Suikerbos (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
This Western Cape endemic has a restricted range with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 19 026 km², and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 1160-1164 km². Although it is threatened in parts of its range, it is still fairly common and not yet in danger of extinction. Therefore it is listed as Least Concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is known from the Cape Peninsula, Hottentots-Holland, Riviersonderend and Langeberg mountains. It also occurs on the Kleinrivier Mountains, Bredasdorp Mountains and on the Potberg. It is endemic to the Western Cape Province, South Africa.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos, Potberg Sandstone Fynbos, South Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, South Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos, Overberg Sandstone Fynbos, Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, Hawequas Sandstone Fynbos
Protea speciosa is a species of upper moist south-facing slopes occurring on peaty soils, 0-1300 m. It is a long-lived species, and survives fires by resprouting from underground boles or rootstocks. As with most resprouters, young plants are almost never observed. Wind-dispersed seeds are stored in fire-resistant inflorescences, and released after fires. It is pollinated by birds.
At least 10% of this species is irreversibly modified due to pine plantations and crop cultivation (mainly vineyards and protea orchards). It is declining due to competition from alien invasive pines and hakeas species. It is also threatened by unsustainable harvesting.

It is widely scattered, never occurring in dense stands, often as isolated individuals throughout its distribution range. The population is suspected to be declining at a slow rate.

Population trend
Protea speciosa is conserved within the Table Mountain, Silvermine, Cape of Good Hope sections of the Table Mountain National Park. It also occurs within the Kogelberg, Hottentot Holland, Theewaters, Klein Houwhoek, Fernkloof, Maanskynkop, Riviersonderend, De Hoop, Marloth, and Boosmansbos nature reserves.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea speciosa (L.) L.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. 2020. Protea speciosa (L.) L. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/17

Comment on this assessment Comment on this assessment
Distribution map

© C. Merry

© C. Merry

© C. Merry

© I. Ebrahim

Search for images of Protea speciosa on iNaturalist