Common Sugarbush

Scientific Name
Protea caffra Meisn. subsp. caffra
Higher Classification
Protea bolusii E.Phillips, Protea multibracteata E.Phillips, Protea natalensis E.Phillips, Protea rhodantha Hook.f., Protea stipitata E.Phillips
Common Names
Common Sugarbush (e), Gewone Suikerbos (a), Highveld Protea (e), Indlunge (x), Isadlunge (x), Isiqalaba (z), Isiqwane (x), Mogalagala (ns), Natal Sugarbush (e), Segwapi (ns), Tshididiri (v), Uhlinkihane (z), Waboom (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
H. Mtshali, A.G. Rebelo, N.A. Helme, P.M. Holmes, C.N. Forshaw, S.H. Richardson, D. Raimondo, D.I.W. Euston-Brown, J.E. Victor, W. Foden, I. Ebrahim, B. Bomhard, E.G.H. Oliver, A. Johns, J. van der Venter, R. van der Walt, C. von Witt, A.B. Low, C. Paterson-Jones, J.P. Rourke, A.N. Hitchcock, L. Potter, J.H. Vlok & D. Pillay
Widespread, common in the eastern part of South Africa. This subspecies is sometimes harvested for firewood but this is not a significant threat throughout its range. Therefore it is assessed as Least Concern.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West
Widespread across the grasslands of eastern South Africa, also occurring in Swaziland, Lesotho and Mozambique.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Strydpoort Summit Sourveld, Barberton Montane Grassland, Sekhukhune Montane Grassland, Leolo Summit Sourveld, Northern Escarpment Dolomite Grassland, Northern Escarpment Quartzite Sourveld, Northern Escarpment Afromontane Fynbos, Maputaland Wooded Grassland, Wolkberg Dolomite Grassland, Wakkerstroom Montane Grassland, Soutpansberg Summit Sourveld, Waterberg-Magaliesberg Summit Sourveld, Eastern Free State Clay Grassland, Steenkampsberg Montane Grassland, Long Tom Pass Montane Grassland, Eastern Free State Sandy Grassland, Basotho Montane Shrubland, Woodbush Granite Grassland, Drakensberg-Amathole Afromontane Fynbos, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Belt Grassland, Pondoland-Ugu Sandstone Coastal Sourveld, Transkei Coastal Belt, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Belt Thornveld, Amathole Montane Grassland, Drakensberg Afroalpine Heathland, Amathole Mistbelt Grassland, KaNgwane Montane Grassland, Northern Drakensberg Highland Grassland, Paulpietersburg Moist Grassland, uKhahlamba Basalt Grassland, Vredefort Dome Granite Grassland, Carletonville Dolomite Grassland, Egoli Granite Grassland, Rand Highveld Grassland, Eastern Highveld Grassland, Northern Zululand Mistbelt Grassland, Southern Drakensberg Highland Grassland, Moot Plains Bushveld, Soweto Highveld Grassland, Mamabolo Mountain Bushveld, Poung Dolomite Mountain Bushveld, Ohrigstad Mountain Bushveld, Sekhukhune Mountain Bushveld, Zeerust Thornveld, Dwarsberg-Swartruggens Mountain Bushveld, Waterberg Mountain Bushveld, Marikana Thornveld, Loskop Mountain Bushveld, Gold Reef Mountain Bushveld, Kaalrug Mountain Bushveld, Swaziland Sour Bushveld, Southern Lebombo Bushveld, Northern Zululand Sourveld, Tzaneen Sour Bushveld, Legogote Sour Bushveld, Pilanesberg Mountain Bushveld, Low Escarpment Moist Grassland, KwaZulu-Natal Sandstone Sourveld, Drakensberg Foothill Moist Grassland, Southern KwaZulu-Natal Moist Grassland, East Griqualand Grassland, Mthatha Moist Grassland, Tsomo Grassland, Dry Coast Hinterland Grassland, Soutpansberg Mountain Bushveld, Moist Coast Hinterland Grassland, Tsakane Clay Grassland, Northern KwaZulu-Natal Moist Grassland, KwaZulu-Natal Highland Thornveld, Mooi River Highland Grassland, Midlands Mistbelt Grassland, Gauteng Shale Mountain Bushveld, Andesite Mountain Bushveld, Central Sandy Bushveld, Ithala Quartzite Sourveld
Variable, common in grassland and woodland areas. It is usually found on rocky ridges.
This subspecies occurs in rural areas where dependence on natural resources is high. Trees are harvested for firewood, and they were also cleared for forestry plantations in the past.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Protea caffra Meisn. subsp. caffra Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Boon, R. 2010. Pooley's Trees of eastern South Africa. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban.

Chisumpa, S.M., Brummitt, R.K. and Marner, S. 2006. Proteaceae. In: G.V. Pope, R.M. Polhill and E.S. Martins (eds). Flora Zambesiaca 9 (Part 3):49-85. Flora Zambesiaca Managing Committee, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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.

Mtshali, H., Rebelo, A.G., Helme, N.A., Holmes, P.M., Forshaw, C.N., Richardson, S.H., Raimondo, D., Euston-Brown, D.I.W., Victor, J.E., Foden, W., Ebrahim, I., Bomhard, B., Oliver, E.G.H., Johns, A., van der Venter, J., van der Walt, R., von Witt, C., Low, A.B., Paterson-Jones, C., Rourke, J.P., Hitchcock, A.N., Potter, L., Vlok, J.H. & Pillay, D. 2019. Protea caffra Meisn. subsp. caffra. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/12/03

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Distribution map

© S. Parbhoo

© S. Parbhoo

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