A number of bird species are attracted to the brightly coloured flower heads produced by the limestone sugarbush during the cool, wet winter months of June and July (7) (9). As the birds feed on the flowers’ abundant nectar, their feathers become coated in pollen, which is then transferred to the flower heads of other plants visited, thereby facilitating this species’ pollination (9).
Like many fynbos species, the reproduction of the limestone sugarbush is absolutely dependent on fire. After pollination, the multiple flowers making up the flower heads develop into small, hard nuts, each containing a single seed, which remain on the plant until the occurrence of a wild fire (5) (7). Wild fires, which are regularly triggered in the hot, dry conditions of summer and autumn, spread rapidly through fynbos and, although they destroy the adult limestone sugarbush plants, they release the seeds and promote their germination, thereby establishing a new generation of plants (3) (7).