This photo was taken during January at Qacha’s Nek. Protea subvestita grows in montane grassland at high altitude, seldom below 1800 m or above 2300 m, wherever the Drakensberg provides land at these heights. These trees (sometimes shrubs) are often seen in steep, rocky places or on the slopes of ravines these days, where the grass fires seldom reach.
Unlike other grassland Protea species, this one dies in grass fires; regenerates from seed only. Some losses in the plant population may be associated with too frequent burning of the grassland, which unfortunately happens too often these days (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Rourke, 1980).