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Protea convexa on the Tra Tra Mountains

The Largeleaf Sugarbush - Protea convexa has had its range extensively extended by atlassers. Once known from the Witteberg at Maatjiesrivier and from Elandsrivier Mountains, atlassers have found it to the east, south and west, where it occurs in little pockets almost continuously at suitable altitudes.

Now we have the northern extension. Some 160 km to be precise! While atlassing in the Tra Tra north of Wuppertal and south of the Biedouw Valley (see "Atlassing in the Tra Tra" on page 10), we came upon a single population of proteas with very large leaves and red varnish on the stem. John Rourke confirmed this as convexa, rather than a weird form of laevis, to yield one of the most bizarre distributions in the genus – why does the species not occur in the mountains in between? Perhaps we have just not looked properly? The Swartruggens needs to be combed for this species – plenty of suitable habitat exists.

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