Scientific Name
Conophytum herreanthus S.A.Hammer subsp. herreanthus
Higher Classification
Herreanthus meyeri Schwantes
National Status
Status and Criteria
Extinct in the Wild
Assessment Date
S.A. Hammer & A.J. Young
This taxon declined in the 1960s and 1970s due to collecting for the specialist succulent horticultural trade. It was known from two mature individuals in 1991 and in 1996 only one plant survived but was badly damaged by livestock. Recent surveys have failed to locate any plants, and it is considered extinct in the wild.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape
information redacted, contact SANBI
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Succulent Karoo
Quartz patches.
This taxon has been targeted by plant collectors since its discovery in the 1920s. By the late 1950s, Schwantes (1957) expressed concern that it is becoming increasingly rare in the wild, but excessive wild collecting continued until the 1980s, when only one plant remained (Hammer 2002). In addition, livestock grazing and trampling has contributed to habitat degradation and trampling damage to the last remaining wild plants, and prevented the successful establishment of seedlings.

This taxon was first discovered in 1925. Since then, it has been known from one small colony. The site is renowned for its succulent diversity and has been visited by many plant collectors over the years. In 1987, a single surviving individual was found in the wild. The following year, a plant grown from seed collected at the type locality several years earlier was introduced at the site. The population was visited again in July and August 1991, when both plants still survived. Several thousand seeds were also scattered at the site, but none have survived beyond the seedling stage. By 1997 one of the remaining two mature individuals had died, and the single remaining plant was damaged by grazing animals. This taxon has not been seen in the wild for nearly 20 years. The type locality is very remote, but has been repeatedly surveyed by many plant collectors over the years and no other colonies have been found.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Conophytum herreanthus S.A.Hammer subsp. herreanthus Extinct in the Wild 2015.1
Conophytum herreanthus S.A.Hammer subsp. herreanthus Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) Raimondo et al. (2009)
Conophytum herreanthus S.A.Hammer subsp. herreanthus CR A1acdB1B2abceC2bD1Victor (2002)
Conophytum herreanthus S.A.Hammer subsp. herreanthus Endangered Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Herreanthus meyeri SchwantesIndeterminate Hall et al. (1980)

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

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.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, 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.

Schwantes, G. 1957. Flowering Stones and Midday Flowers. Benn, London.

Victor, J.E. 2002. South Africa. In: J.S. Golding (ed), Southern African plant Red Data Lists. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 14 (pp. 93-120), SABONET, Pretoria.

Hammer, S.A. & Young, A.J. 2015. Conophytum herreanthus S.A.Hammer subsp. herreanthus. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/02/02

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Distribution map

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