Forest Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea mundii Klotzsch
Higher Classification
Common Names
Bos-witsuikerbos (a), Forest Sugarbush (e), Forest White Sugarbush (e), Suikerbos (a), White Sugarbush (e), Witsuikerbos (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Protea mundii is widespread and common with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 31 820 km². It is threatened by wild flower harvesting, hybridization with planted plants, and competition from alien invasive plants. However these threats are not yet severe, and therefore it is not in danger of extinction. It is assessed as Least Concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Western Cape
This species has a disjunct distribution in the mountains of the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa, from Kogelberg to Kleinrivier Mountains, Outeniqua and Kouga Mountains to the Tsitsikamma and Winterhoek Mountains.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Southern Afrotemperate Forest, Kouga Grassy Sandstone Fynbos, Kouga Sandstone Fynbos, Tsitsikamma Sandstone Fynbos, South Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos, North Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos, Overberg Sandstone Fynbos, Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, Knysna Sand Fynbos
It is found on moist slopes and forest margins, along rivers and seeps, 200-1300 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.
At least 19% of this species' habitat is irreversibly modified, mainly due to crop cultivation. Current threats include gravel mining, unsustainable wild flower harvesting, and hybridization with cultivated plants (any other White Sugarbush). Hybrid plants were thought to be a new species as only hybrids between it and Protea punctata were collected for identification. Alien invasive species are a threat in some areas.

This species has a disjunct distribution and is common occurring in dense, localised stands. The subpopulations in Spinnekopneskloof have been reduced by too frequent fires. Hybridization with sister taxa is a problem. The population is not suspected to be declining, but is likely to decline in the near future due to hybridization, harvesting and habitat degradation.

Population trend
Protea mundii has a curious disjunct distribution and should be considered at the very least as two subspecies, even though this has not formally been done to date. DNA testing should be done to determine if the morphological differences justify full specific status.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea mundii KlotzschLeast 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 mundii Klotzsch. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/17

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Distribution map

© D. Turner

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