White-trailing Pincushion

Scientific Name
Leucospermum pedunculatum Klotzsch
Higher Classification
Common Names
White-trailing Pincushion (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Leucospermum pedunculatum has a limited distribution range, with an Extent of Occurrence of 1948 km², and an Area of Occupancy of 444 km². It is declining across its range due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation, but is still common, occurring at more than 10 locations. Therefore it nearly meets the thresholds for Vulnerable under criterion B.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Leucospermum pedunculatum has a very limited distribution range on the southern coast of the Western Cape, where it occurs from the Kleinrivier Mountains north of Stanford to the Soetanysberg west of Cape Agulhas.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Overberg Dune Strandveld, Overberg Sandstone Fynbos, Agulhas Limestone Fynbos, Elim Ferricrete Fynbos, Agulhas Sand Fynbos
It occurs in deep sandy soils on lower slopes and coastal flats, 0-600 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.
At least 28% of L. pedunculatum's habitat is already irreversibly modified, and loss continues, with 2% loss recorded between 1990 and 2014. Near the coast, it is mainly threatened by habitat loss to urban expansion and coastal development. On flats further inland, particularly between Baardskeerdersbos and Elim, it has lost habitat to agricultural expansion in the past, and continues to lose habitat to protea cultivation for the cut flower industry. Most of its habitat is also infested with alien invasive plants, that are outcompeting native species. There are ongoing clearing efforts in protected areas such as Salmonsdam Nature Reserve and the Agulhas National Park, but eradication is proving difficult due to persistent seed banks.

This species is common on sandy coastal flats, and rarer in the coastal mountains, where it tends to occur in small and isolated subpopulations. Subpopulations near the coast are significantly more severely impacted by habitat loss. A continuing decline is inferred from ongoing habitat loss and degradation.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucospermum pedunculatum KlotzschLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)
Leucospermum pedunculatum KlotzschRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Leucospermum pedunculatum KlotzschRare 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. 2019. Leucospermum pedunculatum Klotzsch. 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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