Tsitsikamma Conebush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron uliginosum R.Br. subsp. glabratum I.Williams
Higher Classification
Common Names
Tsitsikamma Conebush (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
This is a range-restricted subspecies, with an Extent of Occurrence of 2335 km², and an Area of Occupancy of 296 km². It is known from an estimated eight to ten locations, but it is highly likely that there are more than 10 locations as large areas of its habitat remains poorly explored. It is declining due to competition from alien invasive plants.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Western Cape
This subspecies is endemic to a small area in the Tsitsikamma and Langkloof mountains between Avontuur and Kareedouw on the border between the Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces. There are historical records from the Kouga Mountains, but it was not relocated during Protea Atlas Project Surveys.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Kouga Sandstone Fynbos, Tsitsikamma Sandstone Fynbos
It occurs on sandstone slopes in montane fynbos, 300-1500 m. Mature individuals are killed by fires, and only seeds survive. Seeds are stored in fire-resistant inflorescences, and released after fires. It is dioecious, with insect-pollinated male and female flowers occurring on separate plants.
This taxon's habitat is already about 10% irreversibly modified, mainly due to historical loss to timber plantations in the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Timber plantations are no longer expanding, and thus habitat loss has ceased, but plantations are a major source of invasive pine seedlings that are spreading into surrounding native vegetation. Protea Atlas Project Data indicates that about 70% of the habitat of this subspecies has been invaded by pines and 30% by hakea, with 26% under severe infestation. Field observations also indicate that subpopulations will persist in invaded habitats until the density of Hakea exceeds 80%. A large proportion of the range is protected in national parks and other provincial nature reserves where there are ongoing efforts to clear and control invasive species, but thus far, control is proving very difficult due to rugged mountain terrain and insufficient resources for clearing work.

This subspecies is locally common within its habitat, occurring in dense continuous stands. Subpopulations are large. A continuing decline is inferred from ongoing competition from alien invasive plants across its range. It is currently known from eight to ten locations, but this is likely to be an underestimate, as its mountainous habitat is rugged and inaccessible, and many more subpopulations are likely to exist.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron uliginosum R.Br. subsp. glabratum I.WilliamsRare Raimondo et al. (2009)

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. Leucadendron uliginosum R.Br. subsp. glabratum I.Williams. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/11/28

Comment on this assessment Comment on this assessment
Distribution map

Search for images of Leucadendron uliginosum subsp. glabratum on iNaturalist