The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Silver Sugarbush

Afrikaans name: Ranksilwersuikerbos

Silver Sugarbush

Silver Sugarbush

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Protea roupelliae

This attractive Protea is quite common in its preferred habitat. It is most often found on rocky slopes at higher altitudes with south-facing slopes being its favourite.

The Silver Sugarbush varies in height between 3 and 8 metres. The tree is widest at the base narrowing to a rounded top. It has a single stem.

The bark is grey with black fissures. The leaves are narrow and up to 14 cm in length and are greyish green in colour. Young leaves have a pinkish tinge. The leaves are covered with silver hairs. The flowers appear between March and June and are around 12 cm in length.

Like many of the Proteas the Silver Sugarbush is a favourite with sunbirds. Gurney’s Sugarbird and Malachite Sunbird are often seen feeding on the nectar. It is not uncommon to find beetles on the flowers. The bark of this tree has a number of different uses in traditional medicines.

References and further reading

The Flora of the Natal Drakensberg - Author: Donald Killick - Published: 1990 - Page: 66

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 176

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 88

SA Wild Flower Guide No 4 - Transvaal Lowveld - Author: Jo Onderstall - Published: 1984 - Page: 88

Sappi Tree Spotting: Highveld and the Drakensburg - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 1998 - Page: 180

Proteas for Pleasure - 3rd edition - Author: Sima Eliovson - Published: 1973 - Page: 84

Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa - Author: John Manning - Published: 2009 - Page: 170

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Published: 1983 - Page: 101

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