Honey-scented Sceptre

Scientific Name
Paranomus roodebergensis (Compton) Levyns
Higher Classification
Common Names
Honey-scented Sceptre (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Paranomus roodebergensis is a localized endemic to the Little Karoo, but is locally common. It has an Extent of Occurrence of 904-1454 km², and an Area of Occupancy of 228 km². As there are no severe threats to this species, the population is assumed to be stable, and therefore it is not in danger of extinction.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Paranomus roodebergensis is endemic to a small area in the Little Karoo near Calitzdorp in the Western Cape, occurring on the Rooiberg, Gamkaberg and Perdeberg above the Huisrivier Pass. It was historically recorded on the Touwsberg south-west of Ladismith, but was not relocated during Protea Atlas Project surveys.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
South Rooiberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Rooiberg Sandstone Fynbos
It occurs in arid montane fynbos, 500-1300 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.
Field observations indicate that it is potentially threatened by too frequent fires on the Rooiberg Pass. As a reseeder, Paranomus roodebergensis is potentially vulnerable to too frequent fires, as local extinctions can occur when fires repeatedly kill individuals before they reach reproductive maturity. Field observations also noted alien invasive plants present in low densities on the Rooiberg. If these are not controlled, they may increase in density over time, eventually outcompeting native species.

It is locally abundant on the Rooiberg, where it is well-protected. Elsewhere in its range it occurs in small, isolated clumps of a few dozen scattered plants (Rebelo 2001). As there are no severe threats to this species, the population is not suspected to be declining.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Paranomus roodebergensis (Compton) LevynsRare Raimondo et al. (2009)
Paranomus roodebergensis (Compton) LevynsRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)

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.

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.

Vlok, J. and Schutte-Vlok, A.L. 2010. Plants of the Klein Karoo. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.

Rebelo, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2019. Paranomus roodebergensis (Compton) Levyns. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/01/26

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Distribution map

© D. Turner

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

© M. Treurnicht

© M. Treurnicht

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