Scientific Name
Conophytum reconditum A.R.Mitch.
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.J. Young & D. Raimondo
An endemic to the Namaqualand region of South Africa, this species has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 2697 km². It is know from between 17 and 30 locations but is extremely abundant where it occurs, forming mats of thousands of individuals. Mature individuals are being removed from the wild to supply the increasing demand for Conophytums coming from Asian countries. The population is therefore declining. Ongoing monitoring of volume and extent of impact on the population is required. Declines are not likely to have caused the population to approach the decline thresholds for listing this species as threatened or near threatened. It remains least concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape, Western Cape
Southern Kamiesberg and northern Knersvlakte.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Fynbos, Succulent Karoo
Shallow grit pans on gneiss, often beneath small rocks and wedged in rock cracks.
There has been a significant increase in demand for Conophytums coming from Asian countries since March 2019. This species is popular in cultivation and some subpopulations are threatened by illegal collection.

Conophytum reconditum is extremely abundant. There are many large subpopulations. It occurs in mat-forming colonies of several hundreds to thousands of plants. The population is likely declining at a slow rate due to illegal collection.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Conophytum reconditum A.R.Mitch.LC 2017.1
Conophytum reconditum A.R.Mitch. subsp. reconditum Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

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.

Mitchell, A.R. 1984. Conophytum reconditum: a newcomer from Namaqualand. British Cactus and Succulent Journal 2(2):45-46.

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.

Snijman, D.A. 2013. Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 2: The extra Cape flora. Strelitzia 30. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Wagner, G.F. 2002. A new population of Conophytum reconditum A.R. Mitchell. Mesemb Study Group Bulletin 17(1):16.

Young, A.J., Rodgerson, C. and Hammer, S.A. 2011. The rough and the smooth: a reassessment of Conophytum reconditum. Bradleya 29:93-102.

Young, A.J. & Raimondo, D. 2015. Conophytum reconditum A.R.Mitch. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2020/07/09

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Distribution map

© A.J. Young

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