IDM KwaZulu-Natal - Dainty Sugarbush - Protea parvula
A solid black dot indicates where the species is found.
Protea parvula - Dainty Sugarbush is a low, sprawling shrub 0.08-0.16 m tall, with a rootstock producing numerous, sparsely-branched stems up to 1 m long. The stems are hairless, 2-4 mm diameter. The leaves point vertically from a horizontal stem (like teeth on a comb). Involucral bracts are hairless.
ProteaPARV occurs on the escarpment of Swaziland, Transvaal and only gets into KwaZulu-Natal at Vryheid. According to Elsa Pooley (374) there are only two grid squares with this species in the province.
Herbarium records that need to be followed up include:
Elsa Pooley's additional record is from Vryheid at 2730 DB (marked O).
Protea parvula has not yet been atlassed in KwaZulu-Natal. Is this species more common than is led to believe, based on Elsa Pooley's book? Might it occur between the two areas? Or is it extinct in KwaZuluNatal, having been only ever known there from two records? This species is rather cryptic and does tend to be easily overlooked.
The difference between Protea parvula and Protea simplex, is that Protea parvula creeps along the ground, whereas Protea simplex has erect stems. Protea parvula also has long stalks to the flowerheads. Although this difference is quite distinctive, many people have misidentified plants of this species as Protea simplex, being caught out by its rarity and occasional plants that are more robust and more erect.