Conophytum ratum

Scientific Name
Conophytum ratum S.A.Hammer
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)
Assessment Date
A.J. Young, L. von Staden & P.G. Desmet
One small remaining subpopulation number fewer than 1000 plants within a EOO of <10 km² continue to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape
Bushmanland Inselbergs near Aggeneys.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Bushmanland Inselberg Shrubland, Aggeneys Gravel Vygieveld, Bushmanland Arid Grassland
Spongy quartz soil.
Mining expansion is causing severe, ongoing habitat loss and degradation. This threat is affecting the majority of the remaining population. Despite the cryptic nature of the plants illegal collecting is a potential problem. The species has disappeared from several sites known through historical records, which may be the result of illegal collecting. One subpopulation is known to have been cleared out by plant collectors.

The largest known subpopulation of this species consists of about 1000 mature individuals, and this subpopulation is declining due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation. There are a few historical records from other inselbergs in the area, but several recent field surveys failed to relocate the species at any of these sites. These were probably small, unviable subpopulations.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Conophytum ratum S.A.HammerVU A4acdeRaimondo et al. (2009)

Hammer, S. 1991. A new sphaeroid from Bushmanland. Cactus and Succulent Journal (USA) 63(3):67-69.

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., von Staden, L. & Desmet, P.G. 2016. Conophytum ratum S.A.Hammer. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/10/15

Comment on this assessment Comment on this assessment
Distribution map

© C. Paterson-Jones

Search for images of Conophytum ratum on iSpot