Cederberg Conebush

Scientific Name
Leucadendron dubium (H.Buek ex Meisn.) E.Phillips & Hutch.
Higher Classification
Common Names
Cederberg Conebush (e), Vuurslaanbos (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Leucadendron dubium has a highly restricted distribution range, with an Extent of Occurrence of 754 km² and an Area of Occupancy of 240 km². There is a continuing decline in the area and extent of suitable habitat outside protected areas. This species is however locally common, and remains at at least 20 locations, and therefore it nearly meets the criteria thresholds for Vulnerable under criterion B.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Leucadendron dubium is endemic to the Cederberg Mountains in the Western Cape.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos, Swartruggens Quartzite Fynbos
This species occurs on flats in sandstone fynbos, where it prefers deep sandy soils, 900-1800 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 dioecious, with wind-pollinated male and female flowers occurring on separate plants.
This species' preferred habitat is ideally suited to the cultivation of Rooibos Tea, and outside protected areas, there is ongoing habitat loss to agricultural expansion particularly in the area east of Wuppertal, with 2% habitat loss recorded between 1990 and 2014. However, since 79% of this species' remaining suitable habitat is in well-managed protected areas, population reduction is unlikely to ever exceed 30%.

This species occurs in dense isolated stands, and is locally common in suitable habitat. The population is large (>10 000 mature individuals). There is continuing decline in the extent of suitable habitat outside protected areas due to habitat loss to agricultural expansion.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucadendron dubium (H.Buek ex Meisn.) E.Phillips & Hutch.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.

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 dubium (H.Buek ex Meisn.) E.Phillips & Hutch. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/12/10

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Distribution map

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