Scientific Name
Conophytum minusculum (N.E.Br.) N.E.Br. subsp. leipoldtii (N.E.Br.) S.A.Hammer
Higher Classification
Conophytum leipoldtii N.E.Br.
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v)
Assessment Date
A.J. Young & D. Raimondo
A range-restricted taxon endemic to the Western Cape Province, South Africa, it has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 27 km² and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 20 km². There are between two and four threat based locations. An ongoing decline in mature individuals is taking place as as result of illegal collecting for the specialist succulent horticultural trade.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
information redacted, contact SANBI
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Fynbos, Succulent Karoo
Crevices in weathered quartzitic sandstone.
Sandstone fynbos around known subpopulations of this taxon are being rapidly ploughed up for rooibos tea cultivation - crop fields are often within tens of meters of subpopulations. This taxon however occurs wedged in crevices in sandstone outcrops that are unsuitable to cultivation, and ploughing has had little or no impact on the population. The indirect impacts of agricultural activities such as herbicide and fertilizer drift are not known. Since March 2019 this taxon has come under pressure from illegal collecting, with 40 specimens obtained from Korean poachers in 2019.

This taxon is locally abundant, with the population estimated to be between 5000 and 10 000 mature individuals. The impact of recent illegal collecting on the population has not be quantified.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Conophytum minusculum (N.E.Br.) N.E.Br. subsp. leipoldtii (N.E.Br.) S.A.HammerRare 2017.1
Conophytum minusculum (N.E.Br.) N.E.Br. subsp. leipoldtii (N.E.Br.) S.A.HammerLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Hammer, S. 1993. Dwarf dwarfs: Conophytum, the section Minuscula. Haseltonia 1:18-28.

Hammer, S. 2002. Dumpling and his wife: New view of the genus Conophytum. EAE Creative Colour, Norwich.

Hammer, S.A. 1993. The genus Conophytum: A conograph. Succulent Plant Publications, Pretoria.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Young, A.J. & Raimondo, D. 2020. Conophytum minusculum (N.E.Br.) N.E.Br. subsp. leipoldtii (N.E.Br.) S.A.Hammer. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/12/08

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Distribution map

© A.J. Young

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