Smooth-leaf Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea laevis R.Br.
Higher Classification
Common Names
Gladdeblaardwergprotea (a), Smooth-leaf Sugarbush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Protea laevis has a restricted distribution range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 10 293 km². It has no severe threats, and therefore is not suspected to be in danger of extinction. It is listed as Least Concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is endemic to the mountains of the Western Cape Province of South Africa, occurring from the Cederberg to the Hex River Mountains, with isolated populations on the Waboomsberg and Riviersonderend Mountains.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
South Hex Sandstone Fynbos, North Hex Sandstone Fynbos, Winterhoek Sandstone Fynbos, Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos, Western Altimontane Sandstone Fynbos, South Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, South Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos, North Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos, Swartruggens Quartzite Fynbos
It grows on dry, rocky ledges on sandstone slopes, 600-2000 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 rodents.
About 5% of this species' habitat is irreversibly modified due to agriculture, however it occurs at high altitudes in montane areas and its habitat is well protected. As a reseeder, Protea laevis is potentially vulnerable to too frequent fires, as local extinctions can occur when fires repeatedly kill individuals before they reach reproductive maturity. Currently, it is potentially threatened by competition from alien invasive plants that are increasing in density in Riviersonderend and Langeberg. Elsewhere in its range, alien invasive plants are present in low densities, and not yet threatening native species.

This species occurs in isolated groups of fewer than a dozen plants, however more than 70 subpopulations are known and the overall population is suspected to be currently stable.

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

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Distribution map

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