Sickle-leaved Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea caffra Meisn. subsp. falcata (Beard) M.Lötter
Higher Classification
Protea rhodantha Hook.f. (in part), Protea rhodantha Hook.f. var. falcata Beard
Common Names
Sickle-leaved Protea (e), Sickle-leaved Sugarbush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened A2c
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali, M. Lötter & J.E. Burrows
Protea caffra subsp. falcata has a restricted range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 905 km² and an area of occupancy of 40 km². The population has declined by an estimated 25-29% in the past three generations as a result of habitat loss to forestry plantations. It therefore qualifies for listing as Near Threatened under criterion B.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
This taxon occurs in eastern South Africa, in the Barberton area of the Mpumalanga Province and also in Eswatini.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Barberton Montane Grassland, KaNgwane Montane Grassland
It occurs in grasslands and open woodlands. It is a long-lived taxon, and survives fires by resprouting from aerial stems. Wind-dispersed seeds are stored in fire-resistant inflorescences, and released after fires. It is pollinated by birds.
A total of 29% of this subspecies' habitat in the Barberton Mountains has been lost to commercial timber plantations in the past. Loss is ongoing with 2% of its habitat lost between 1990 and 2014. There is no significant ongoing expansion of plantations, but plantations are major sources of alien invasive plants that spread into adjacent native vegetation. If these are not controlled, they are likely to increase in density and eventually outcompete this subspecies.

A population decline of 25-29% is inferred from a 29% loss of this species' habitat that has occurred in the past three generations. Forestry plantations were established from 1945 onwards and this species has a generation length in excess of 50 years.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea caffra Meisn. subsp. falcata (Beard) M.LötterLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

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.

Schmidt, E., Lotter, M. and McCleland, W. 2002. Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park. Jacana, Johannesburg.

Rebelo, A.G., Mtshali, H., Lötter, M. & Burrows, J.E. 2020. Protea caffra Meisn. subsp. falcata (Beard) M.Lötter. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/17

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Distribution map

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