Bishop Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea caespitosa Andrews
Higher Classification
Protea oleracea Guthrie, Protea turbiniflora (Salisb.) R.Br.
Common Names
Bishop Sugarbush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(iii,iv)c(iv)+2ab(iii,iv)c(iv)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Protea caespitosa has a restricted range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1347-1613 km², and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 88-92km². It is known from 9-10 locations and is experiencing ongoing decline due to competition from invasive alien plants. Fire-related population fluctuations have been observed. Therefore it is listed as Vulnerable under criterion B.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
It occurs from the Slanghoek and Du Toit's Mountains to the Kogelberg and western Riviersonderend Mountains in the Western Cape.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Western Coastal Shale Band Vegetation
This species grows in high altitude shale bands, at 1000-1800 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.
A small proportion (1%) of habitat has been lost in the past, and all the remaining subpopulations occur within protected areas. The species' habitat is threatened by spreading alien invasive plants. Fire-related population fluctuations have been observed, and inappropriate fire management along with invasive alien plants is causing ongoing decline to the population.

It is a locally dominant species, that form dense, isolated stands. It is currently known from 13 subpopulations, of which four are small and isolated (<250 plants). The largest two subpopulations are found at Kogelberg and Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserves and consist each of over 10 000 individuals. This species is a serotinous reseeder, known to undergo density-dependent population fluctuations of one to three orders of magnitude in response to fire (Bond et al. 1995). Fire-related population fluctuations have been observed.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea caespitosa AndrewsVU B1ac(iv)+2ac(iv)2020.1
Protea caespitosa AndrewsCR B1ac(iv)+2ac(iv)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Protea caespitosa AndrewsNot Threatened Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Protea oleracea GuthrieRare 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.

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 caespitosa Andrews. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/20

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Distribution map

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