Scientific Name
Alberta magna E.Mey.
Higher Classification
Common Names
Breekhout (a), Magnificent-flame (e), Umcumane (z)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B2ab(ii,iii,v)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & C.R. Scott-Shaw
Restricted to a highly specialized habitat on the margins of scarp forests in KwaZulu-Natal and Pondoland. Although quite widespread (EOO 22 000 km²) and fairly common (known from 20-40 locations) the AOO is small (<550 km²) and there is an continuing decline due to too frequent grassland fires impacting on forest margins. Although forest patches are fairly isolated in many areas, subpopulations are not considered to be severely fragmented as seeds are wind dispersed.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal
Lusikisiki to Nkandla, and Ngome.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Evergreen bush and forest margins, and wooded ravines, usually near streams or on moist soils in drainage lines, from the coast up to 1300 m.
This species, which grows on the forest edges adjoining grasslands, is particularly sensitive to fire. In many areas where the grasslands are burnt too frequently forest margins have receded and this tree has become very rare in these areas. On the other hand, in instances where fire is excluded, it acts as a pioneer and can rapidly invade grasslands (C.R. Scott-Shaw pers. obs.) However, too frequent fires are threatening this species in many areas across its range, and is likely to outweigh the few areas where fires are excluded and populations may be expanding. The bark is occasionally harvested for traditional medicine. Unsustainable ringbarking has been observed in Fraser Gorge and surrounds, and bark has been occasionally encountered in muthi markets. Bark harvesting is however not a serious current threat likely to cause severe declines.
Population trend
Protected in Nkandla Forest Reserve and adjacent Vungwini and Mome Reserves, Ntendeka Wilderness Area (Ngome), Umtamvuna Nature Reserve and Mkambati Nature Reserve.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Alberta magna E.Mey.NT B2ab(ii,iii,v)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Alberta magna E.Mey.Lower Risk - Conservation Dependent Scott-Shaw (1999)
Alberta magna E.Mey.Rare Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Boon, R. 2010. Pooley's Trees of eastern South Africa. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban.

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.

Scott-Shaw, C.R. 1999. Rare and threatened plants of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring regions. KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service, Pietermaritzburg.

von Staden, L. & Scott-Shaw, C.R. 2007. Alberta magna E.Mey. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2020/10/20

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Distribution map

© A.T.D. Abbott

© A.T.D. Abbott

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