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IDM KwaZulu-Natal - African Sugarbush - Protea gaguedi

Protea gaguedi DistributionA solid black dot indicates where the species is found.

Protea gaguedi - African Sugarbush, Grootsuikerbos has leaves with sparse, silky hairs, hairless and glaucous when mature, elliptic to oblong to sickle-shaped, 12-30 mm wide, 80-170 mm long. Flower-head depressed-globose, 50-70 mm across. Involucral bracts with silvery, silky hairs, occasionally with a rusty-brown margin. Petals 35-50 mm long. Plants 2-3m tall.

PR GAGU is the second most widespread of all Sugarbushes. In Namibia the roots are reputed to have aphrodisiac properties.

This species is not common in KwaZuluNatal, apparently confined to Vryheid-Itala region and Wakkerstroom. Two herbarium records need to be investigated:
2729 BD Volksrust, Wakkerstroom (Burtt-Davy 5647 PRE)
2832 CA Insuzu Gorge, Nkandla (Beard 799 PRE)

The location of Else Pooley's records are shown (0). Of these, 2831 CC and 2930 CB are suspect and need to be checked. They are probably Protea welwitschii.

Potential Problems

Telling Protea gaguedi and Protea welwitschii apart is not that easy! Protea gaguedi has thinner leaves (5-9X longer than broad vs 2-5 for Pr welw), silver hairs on the outer involucral bracts (vs brown) and hairless mature leaves (vs slightly hairy, esp. on midribs).

The Savanna Sugarbushes have young stems which are hairy. Flower-heads are medium sized (about 50 mm across). The involucral bracts are generally covered with silky hairs. The petals are hairy, 20-50 mm long. Styles are mor than 30 mm long, usually straight or very slightly curved, and as long as or longer than the involucral bracts. Both species produce clusters of flowerheads at the ends of branches, although in Protea gaguedi the flower-head is more usually solitary.

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