Protea gaguedi
Protea gaguedi (26805851611).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Genus: Protea
P. gaguedi
Binomial name
Protea gaguedi

Protea gaguedi is a species of tree which belongs to the genus Protea.[5]

Common names and etymology

This tree is known by the common name of African protea.[6][7]

Other vernacular names for this species used in South Africa include African sugarbush,[3][8][9]African white sugarbush, deciduous sugarbush or white sugarbush. In isiZulu[3] and Ndebele it is known as isiqalaba,[7] in the Northern Sotho language it is called segwapi, and in Venda tshizungu.[3] In Shona it may be called mubonda, mumhonda, or musitsuru.[7] In Afrikaans this species is known by the vernacular names of Afrika-witsuikerbos, grootsuikerbos, groot-suikerbos, suikerbos or witsuikerbos.[3]


P. gaguedi was first described as a new species by Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1791.[2][4]


This plant usually grows in the form of a small, erect to gnarled tree,[6][9] reaching up to three metres in height.[9]

It has leaves which are oblong to elliptic, and often distinctly sickle-shaped.[6] The leaves are glabrous (hairless) when mature,[7][10] except for a few hairs near the base of the blade. The leaves are coloured light green to blue-green. The prominent midrib of the leaves is coloured somewhat yellowish.[7]

It usually has solitary flower heads, a specialised type of inflorescence.[10] These flower heads are quite variable in form,[7] but can grow up to 11 cm in diameter.[10] The flower heads are densely hairy and have a very strong scent.[7] The outer involucral bracts range in colour from pink,[7][10] to greenish-white,[10] to white. The inner bracts are covered in silver hairs and are coloured pale green. The margins of the bracts may or may not have rusty-coloured hairs sprouting from them.[7]

The fruit is a hairy nutlet.[7]

Similar species

It is similar to P. welwitschii, but this species has 60mm diameter flower heads which are usually clustered together in groups of three or four, and young leaves densely covered in hairs, with older leaves retaining pubescence at their base.[10]


It is widely distributed in Africa, from Eritrea[5] in the north, to KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.[4] It does not occur in the Sahel of West Africa.[5][11] Countries it occurs in include Sudan (including South Sudan), Eritrea,[5]Ethiopia, Burundi,[4][5]Rwanda,[4]Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania,[4][5] the Democratic Republic of Congo,[5]Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, eSwatini and South Africa.[4][5]

In South Africa it is a widespread species across the north of the country, and can be found in Gauteng,[3]KwaZulu-Natal,[3][4][5][12]Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West Province.[3]


It found in a variety of habitats, although it is often grows on rocky ground.[6]


Protea gaguedi is a widespread and common tree.[3][7]


  1. ^ Rebelo, A.G.; Mtshali, H.; von Staden, L.; Martínez Richart, A.I. (2020). "Protea gaguedi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T113209875A185566750. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T113209875A185566750.en. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Protea gaguedi". International Plant Names Index. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Harvard University Herbaria & Libraries and Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mtshali, H.; Rebelo, A.G.; Lötter, M.; 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, John Patrick; Hitchcock, A.N.; Potter, L.; Vlok, J.H.; Pillay, D. (27 May 2019). "African Sugarbush". Red List of South African Plants. version 2020.1. South African National Biodiversity Institute. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Protea gaguedi". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Protea gaguedi J.F.Gmel". Plants of the World Online. Kew Science. 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Hyde, Mark A.; Wursten, Bart T.; Ballings, Petra; Coates Palgrave, Meg (2020). "Protea gaguedi J.F. Gmel". Flora of Mozambique. Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hyde, Mark; Wursten, Bart; Ballings, Petra; Coates Palgrave, Meg (2020). "Protea gaguedi J.F.Gmel". Flora of Zimbabwe. Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Protea gaguedi (African sugarbush)". Biodiversity Explorer. Iziko - Museums of South Africa. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "Savanna Sugarbushes - Proteas". Protea Atlas Project Website. 11 March 1998. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d e f van Wyk, Braam; van Wyk, Piet (1997). Field Guide to trees of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik. p. 220, 221. ISBN 1-86825-922-6.
  11. ^ Geerling, Chris (15 July 1982). "Guide de Terrain des Ligneux Sahéliens et Soudano-Guinéens". Mededelingen Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen (in French). 82 (3): 262–265.
  12. ^ Pooley, E. (2005). A Field Guide to Wild Flowers of Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Durban: National Floral Publications Trust.