Ear Satinflower

Scientific Name
Sparaxis auriculata Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
Higher Classification
Common Names
Ear Satinflower (e), Fluweelblom (a), Fluweeltjie (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
D. Raimondo, N.A. Helme & T. Patel
This species has an extent of occurrence (EOO) and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 28 km². It is known from three locations, and is threatened by habitat loss from the expansion of rooibos tea and tomato cultivation. It is also under threat from the spread of alien invasive species. It is therefore listed as Endangered under criterion B.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
It is endemic to the northern Western Cape province of South Africa. It is found on flats and lower slopes south-east of Vanrhynsdorp at the base of the Gifberg and Matsikamma mountains.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Klawer Sandy Shrubland, Kobee Succulent Shrubland, Vanrhynsdorp Shale Renosterveld
It occurs in transition soils between clay and sandstone, at low to middle elevations and is locally common among rocks in cleared places on bush-covered sandstone slopes.
This species is threatened by ongoing, sporadic habitat loss to the cultivation of rooibos tea and cash crops such as tomatoes and onions. It has lost 32.5% of its habitat (4.8% between 1990 and 2014) (calculated using landcover data in GIS). It is also under threat from invasive alien species, which are spreading and increasing within this species' habitat.

Subpopulations of this species are found in three different locations. It occurs in the Vanrhynsdorp region, found on the slopes of Gifberg mountain. It was first recorded here in 1997 and was noted as occasional. In 2001, it was fairly common, and in 2007, it was recorded to be a low density area. It has been observed in this area up to 2019. The second location that this species is found in is Wuppertal, Vleikraak (east of Klawer). It was only recorded here in 1979 and was noted to be widespread at the time. This species was also recorded in Matsikamma in 1974 and was locally frequent. However, it is now known to be extinct here. In 2015, it was recorded nearby this location in Maskam, Sandkraal 3, and was observed to be uncommon (around 150 plants in 2 ha). This species was recorded in 11 herbarium collections, and is already extinct in one of the locations due to habitat loss from agriculture.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Sparaxis auriculata Goldblatt & J.C.ManningEN B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)Raimondo et al. (2009)

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2013. Systematics and biology of the Cape genus Sparaxis (Iridaceae). Strelitzia 32. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2020. Iridaceae of southern Africa. Strelitzia 42. South African National Biodiversity 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.

Raimondo, D., Helme, N.A. & Patel, T. 2021. Sparaxis auriculata Goldblatt & J.C.Manning. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/17

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Distribution map

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