Scientific Name
Conophytum herreanthus S.A.Hammer subsp. herreanthus
Higher Classification
Herreanthus meyeri Schwantes
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)
Assessment Date
A.J. Young, P.G. Desmet, I. Ebrahim, D. Guo, A. Harrower, L. Jabar, L. Knoetze, C. Rodgerson, P.C.V. Van Wyk & N.N. Mhlongo
This taxon qualifies for listing under the category Critically Endangered, but is considered Possibly Extinct as it has not been seen in the wild for the past 20 years despite searches. Searches have, however, not be extensive enough to meet the IUCN Red List Guidelines requirements for listing the taxon as Extinct in the Wild.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape
This succulent is endemic to a small part of the Northern Cape province of South Africa.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Succulent Karoo
The plants were reported from a small area in the Richtersveld bioregion of the Succulent Karoo biome where they receive winter rainfall. They are reported to be associated with quartz-rich habitats, often in partial shade of larger shrubs. This taxon has a generation length of 30 years. It is expected to be sensitive to the impacts of climate change as it does not disperse and while adapted to arid conditions, is dependent on limited seasonal rainfall.
A large proportion of the original population was collected in the 1970s.

Plants were originally reported from a single location where they occurred in a valley with an area of around 30 km2. Plants of this subspecies have not been seen in habitat for more than 20 years despite several searches in the area. The botanist, Hans Herre, who discovered this taxon, removed many, many plants to introduce to cultivation several decades ago and it is possible that this severely depleted the population. The other subspecies occurs as scattered plants across the landscape and can be difficult to find at times, it is possible that this subspecies may also still have a few scattered plants extant within the valley it is known from. More exhaustive searches are required before it can be determined if this subspecies is extinct in the wild.

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)

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.

Opel, M.R. 2004. The rediscovery of Crassula alcicornis. Haseltonia 10:38-40.

Young, A.J., Desmet, P.G., Ebrahim, I., Guo, D., Harrower, A., Jabar, L., Knoetze, L., Rodgerson, C., Van Wyk, P.C.V. & Mhlongo, N.N. 2023. Conophytum herreanthus S.A.Hammer subsp. herreanthus. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/06/14

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Distribution map

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