Clasping-leaf Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea amplexicaulis (Salisb.) R.Br.
Higher Classification
Common Names
Clasping-leaf Sugarbush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Protea amplexicaulis is a widespread and common species that is not in danger of extinction. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is widespread in the mountains of the Western Cape, where it occurs from the Koue Bokkeveld southwards to the Hottentots Holland Mountains, and eastwards along the Langeberg and Riviersonderend Mountains. An isolated subpopulation occurs on the Caledon Swartberg.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Overberg Sandstone Fynbos, Kouebokkeveld Shale Fynbos, Breede Shale Fynbos, Elgin Shale Fynbos, Greyton Shale Fynbos, Swartruggens Quartzite Fynbos, Matjiesfontein Quartzite Fynbos, Boland Granite Fynbos, Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Hex Sandstone Fynbos, North Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos, South Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos, North Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, South Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos, Winterhoek Sandstone Fynbos, Hawequas Sandstone Fynbos
It prefers dry, north-facing slopes in montane fynbos, and is rarely recorded on moister south-facing slopes, 200-2000 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 and insects.
Protea amplexicaulis has lost a small proportion (less than 10%) of its habitat to timber plantations in the past, but plantations are no longer expanding, and thus this threat has ceased. It is threatened by competition from dense infestations of alien invasive plants on the southern slopes of the Riviersonderend Mountains and the Caledon Swartberg. Elsewhere in its range, alien invasive plants are present in low densities, and not yet threatening native species. If these are however not controlled, they are likely to increase rapidly over the next 15-20 years to such densities that native species are likely to be outcompeted.

It is locally common in suitable habitat, occurring in dense, extensive stands on northern slopes, and as scattered individuals on south-facing slopes. Although there are localized threats to some subpopulations, no significant ongoing decline is suspected.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea amplexicaulis (Salisb.) 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.

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 amplexicaulis (Salisb.) 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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