Palmiet Silkypuff

Scientific Name
Diastella fraterna Rourke
Higher Classification
Common Names
Palmiet Silkypuff (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Diastella fraterna has a restricted distribution range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 247-253 km², but is locally common. There are no current severe threats to this species, but it is potentially vulnerable to competition from alien invasive plants and groundwater extraction. However, these threats are unlikely to rapidly cause this species to become Critically Endangered or Extinct within a short time frame. These threats may increase this species' risk of extinction in the longer term, and needs to be managed and avoided.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species has a restricted distribution range in the Kogelberg region between Grabouw and Hangklip in the Western Cape.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, Hangklip Sand Fynbos
It occurs in seeps and along stream sides in sandstone fynbos, 0-650 m. Mature individuals are killed by fires, and only seeds survive. Seeds are released after ripening, and dispersed by ants to their underground nests, where they are protected from predation and fire. It is pollinated by insects.
A very small proportion (13%) of this species' habitat has been lost to coastal development between Hangklip and Kleinmond in the past. However, as most of the remaining habitat is protected, this threat has ceased. Currently, there are no severe threats to this species, but it is potentially threatened by competition from alien invasive pine seedlings, spreading from nearby plantations in the Highlands area. It is also potentially threatened by groundwater extraction. Increasing prolonged droughts in the Western Cape are increasing pressure on groundwater resources, on which this seep-preferring species is dependent.

This species is locally common in suitable habitat, and although it has a limited distribution range, the population is estimated to be large. It has declined in the past due to habitat loss, but most of its remaining habitat is now protected, and there is no significant ongoing decline.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Diastella fraterna RourkeRare Raimondo et al. (2009)
Diastella fraterna RourkeRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)

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.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical 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.

Rourke, J.P. 1976. A revision of Diastella (Proteaceae). Journal of South African Botany 42:185-210.

Rebelo, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2019. Diastella fraterna Rourke. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2021/12/02

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Distribution map

© D. van der Colff

© N.A. Helme

© I. Ebrahim

© I. Ebrahim

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