Tufted Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea intonsa Rourke
Higher Classification
Common Names
Tufted Sugarbush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Protea intonsa has a restricted distribution range occurring at high altitudes in the mountains in the eastern part of the Cape Floral Region. It has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 4393 km² but has no severe threats and is thus not in danger of extinction. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Western Cape
This species is endemic to eastern Swartberg, Kammanassie and Baviaanskloof Mountains, from the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Kango Conglomerate Fynbos, Swartberg Altimontane Sandstone Fynbos, Kouga Grassy Sandstone Fynbos, Kouga Sandstone Fynbos, South Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos, North Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos, South Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos
It occurs on dry, exposed mountain slopes, 700-2000 m, and is a long-lived species that survives fires by resprouting from underground stems. Wind-dispersed seeds are stored in fire-resistant inflorescences, and released after fires. It is pollinated by rodents.
A small proportion (2%) of habitat has been lost in the past due to agriculture near Uniondale. Most of this species' habitat falls within protected areas, and there is no significant ongoing habitat loss. Recent field observations noted alien invasive plants present at very low densities in parts of its range, these are not yet suspected to be causing decline to the population.

Plants are scattered in isolated subpopulations. It is likely more common than reported as its preferred habitat is quite inaccessible. It is currently known from 31 subpopulations. The population is considered stable.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea intonsa RourkeLeast 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. 2019. Protea intonsa Rourke. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/17

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Distribution map

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