Scientific Name
Conophytum chrisolum S.A.Hammer
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v)
Assessment Date
A.J. Young & D. Raimondo
A highly localised species known from a single site in the Namaqualand region of South Africa. While occupying a tiny area of under 1 km² it has according to the IUCN Red List guidelines an extent of occurrence (EOO) and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 4 km². The entire population was estimated to be between 500-1000 individuals in 2015. There is an ongoing decline in the number of mature individuals as a result of illegal collection to supply the growing demand for Conophytum plants amongst specialist succulent collectors.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape
information redacted, contact SANBI
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Namaqualand Heuweltjieveld
Pans of thin quartz scree.
The small, highly localised, population of slow-growing plants has been subject to illegal collection in recent years, with high prices being paid for plants. Collection is causing ongoing decline to the population and is considered a major extinction threat to this species.

This species is an extremely localized habitat specialist, known from a single subpopulation of about 500-1000 individuals. There is ongoing decline due to illegal collection.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Conophytum chrisolum S.A.HammerVU D1+22017.1
Conophytum chrisolum S.A.HammerCritically Rare Raimondo et al. (2009)

Hammer, S. 1997. New chrisogenic species of Conophytum from the Richtersveld. Cactus and Succulent Journal 69(3):127-131.

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

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.

Young, A.J. & Raimondo, D. 2020. Conophytum chrisolum S.A.Hammer. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/12/04

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Distribution map

© A.J. Young

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