Scientific Name
Protea nitida Mill.
Higher Classification
Protea arborea Houtt., Protea grandiflora Thunb.
Common Names
Tree Protea (e), Waboom (e), Waboom (a), Waggon Tree (e), Wagon Tree (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Protea nitida is endemic to the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa. It is very widespread, locally abundant and not in danger of extinction. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Western Cape
This species has a widespread distribution, from the Bokkeveld Escarpment to the Cape Peninsula and eastwards to the Winterhoek Mountains of the Eastern Cape.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Robertson Granite Fynbos, Breede Quartzite Fynbos, Matjiesfontein Quartzite Fynbos, Swartruggens Quartzite Fynbos, Garden Route Shale Fynbos, Montagu Shale Fynbos, Greyton Shale Fynbos, Elgin Shale Fynbos, Cape Winelands Shale Fynbos, Breede Shale Fynbos, Swartberg Shale Fynbos, Peninsula Shale Fynbos, Breede Alluvium Fynbos, Garden Route Granite Fynbos, Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, Peninsula Granite Fynbos, Boland Granite Fynbos, Breede Sand Fynbos, Hangklip Sand Fynbos, Swellendam Silcrete Fynbos, Eastern Coastal Shale Band Vegetation, Eastern Inland Shale Band Vegetation, Central Coastal Shale Band Vegetation, Central Inland Shale Band Vegetation, Western Coastal Shale Band Vegetation, Northern Inland Shale Band Vegetation, Swartland Alluvium Fynbos, Kouebokkeveld Shale Fynbos, North Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos, Kango Conglomerate Fynbos, Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos, South Hex Sandstone Fynbos, North Hex Sandstone Fynbos, Piketberg Sandstone Fynbos, Winterhoek Sandstone Fynbos, Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos, Nardouw Sandstone Fynbos, Olifants Sandstone Fynbos, Kouga Grassy Sandstone Fynbos, Kouga Sandstone Fynbos, South Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos, Bokkeveld Sandstone Fynbos, South Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos, Hawequas Sandstone Fynbos, South Rooiberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Rooiberg Sandstone Fynbos, Tsitsikamma Sandstone Fynbos, Graafwater Sandstone Fynbos, South Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos, North Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos, South Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, South Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos, North Sonderend Sandstone Fynbos, Overberg Sandstone Fynbos, Loerie Conglomerate Fynbos, North Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos
It occurs in variable habitats, but is most common on lower, dry gravelly slopes, 0-1200 m. It is a long-lived species, 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.
There are no major threats to this species at present, but in the past, thousands of trees were lost to over exploitation by bark stripping for the tannin and extensive use of wood for charcoal. The wood was also popular for the manufacture of ornamental furniture.

This species is locally abundant, forming open woodlands.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea nitida Mill.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.

Vlok, J. and Schutte-Vlok, A.L. 2010. Plants of the Klein Karoo. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.

Rebelo, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2019. Protea nitida Mill. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/17

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Distribution map

© D. Turner

© D. Turner

© D. Turner

© D. Turner

© C. Merry

© C. Merry

© A. van Zuydam

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

© Outramps

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