Astridia speciosa

Scientific Name
Astridia speciosa L.Bolus
Higher Classification
Astridia swartpoortensis L.Bolus
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered B1ab(iii,v)
Assessment Date
D. Raimondo & P.C.V. Van Wyk
A range-restricted species endemic to the Gariep Valley (EOO in South Africa 62 km²), known from only one location and declining as a result of ongoing habitat loss and degradation due to mining.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape
Richtersveld and south-western Namibia around Sendelingsdrif.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Western Gariep Hills Desert, Central Richtersveld Mountain Shrubland
Quartz patches over clay on flats and low slopes.
Severely destructive open-cast mining is causing ongoing loss and degradation of this species' habitat. Even outside mining sites, irresponsible off-road driving of mining vehicles across sensitive quartz patches, as well as dust blowing from exposed mine dumps are causing ongoing degradation across this species' limited habitat. Quartz patches provide a specialized micro-habitat to many dwarf desert species, with surface quartz pebbles providing a cooling effect against the hot desert environment. Dust from exposed mine dumps is however burying surface quartz pebbles, disrupting this sensitive micro-climate, and having a severe impact on quartz patch specialist species such as this one.

This species is known from a single location in South Africa, a limited area around the mining town of Sendelingsdrif, where it is declining due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation. This species also has a limited distribution in Namibia, where it is known from a similar small area on the north bank of the Orange River, and also threatened by mining. Due to the limited global range of this species, the national status should not be adjusted following IUCN regional assessment procedures.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Astridia speciosa L.BolusCR B1ab(iii,v)2015.1
Astridia speciosa L.BolusRare Raimondo et al. (2009)
Astridia speciosa L.BolusIndeterminate Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Glen, H.F. 1986. Numerical taxonomic studies in the subtribe Ruschiinae (Mesembryanthemaceae) - Astridia, Acrodon and Ebracteola. Bothalia 16(2):203-226.

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.

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

Raimondo, D. & Van Wyk, P.C.V. 2015. Astridia speciosa L.Bolus. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2018/05/24

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Distribution map

© L. von Staden

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