Potberg Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea aurea (Burm.f.) Rourke subsp. potbergensis (Rourke) Rourke
Higher Classification
Common Names
Potberg Sugarbush (e), Potberg-suikerbos (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable D2
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Protea aurea subsp. potbergensis ha a limited distribution, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) 19 km² and area of occupancy (AOO) 40 km². It is a dense species with two subpopulations that are potentially threatened by too frequent fire and alien pine and acacia invasion.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This taxon is endemic to Potberg Mountain in the Western Cape.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Potberg Sandstone Fynbos
It occurs on upper sandstone slopes, at 360 m. Mature individuals are killed by fires, and only seeds survive. Wind-dispersed seeds are stored in fire-resistant inflorescences, and released after fires. It is pollinated by birds.
As a serotinous reseeder which is found in a small area, this species is potentially vulnerable to too frequent fires. Local extinctions can occur if fires repeatedly kill individuals before the reach reproductive maturity. Invasive alien plants are present within its habitat, and could outcompete the population if it is not continually cleared and managed.

This is a social species forming sparse to dense isolated stands. There are two known subpopulations of this species, both with over 55 000 individuals.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea aurea (Burm.f.) Rourke subsp. potbergensis RourkeNT D2Raimondo et al. (2009)
Protea aurea (Burm.f.) Rourke subsp. potbergensis RourkeRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)

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. Protea aurea (Burm.f.) Rourke subsp. potbergensis (Rourke) Rourke. 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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