Star Conebush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron stellare (Sims) Sweet
Higher Classification
Leucadendron empetrifolium Gand., Leucadendron imbricatum R.Br., Leucadendron polygaloides Link
Common Names
Star Conebush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered A2c
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
A population reduction of 50-70% is inferred from the extent of habitat loss over the past three generations.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is endemic to the coastal lowlands of the Western Cape, where it occurs from Aurora to Cape Flats.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Saldanha Flats Strandveld, Swartland Shale Renosterveld, Swartland Alluvium Renosterveld, Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, Atlantis Sand Fynbos, Hopefield Sand Fynbos, Leipoldtville Sand Fynbos, Swartland Alluvium Fynbos
It occurs in level, dry sands over clay, 30-170 m. It is a long-lived species, and survives fires by resprouting from underground boles or rootstocks. Wind-dispersed seeds are released after ripening, and is stored in surface leaf-litter. It is dioecious, with insect-pollinated male and female flowers occurring on separate plants.
Agricultural expansion (predominantly cereal and wheat cultivation) has caused extensive loss and fragmentation of this species' habitat. Isolated remnants continue to be degraded due to overgrazing, alien invasive plants and inappropriate fire management.

Land cover data indicates that 73% of this species' habitat has been lost. This species is a long-lived resprouter (generation length >50 years), and based on the extent of habitat loss, a population reduction of 50-70% over three generations is inferred. Most remaining subpopulations are small and confined to isolated remnants, with 23% containing fewer than 10 plants. Larger remaining subpopulations in the northern section of the range are declining due to ongoing habitat loss to potato cultivation. A large subpopulation of >10 000 plants remain in three adjacent protected areas on the eastern side of its range.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron stellare (Sims) SweetCR A2cRaimondo et al. (2009)
Leucadendron stellare (Sims) SweetNot Threatened Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Leucadendron stellare (Sims) SweetIndeterminate Hall et al. (1980)

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.

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

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.

Rebelo, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2018. Leucadendron stellare (Sims) Sweet. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/12/03

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Distribution map

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