Ixia helmei

Scientific Name
Ixia helmei Goldblatt & J.C.Manning
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & N.A. Helme
This species is known from a single location (EOO <1 km²), where it continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Bot River.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Western Rûens Shale Renosterveld
Shale hills.
This species occurs in Western Rûens Shale Renosterveld, which is classified as Critically Endangered, as less than 13% of this vegetation type remains intact. It has been fragmented as a result of agricultural expansion, and the only known location of this species is surrounded by expanding crop fields. Fragmentation leads to fire exclusion, which, together with livestock grazing leads to ongoing degradation of remaining areas.

The only known subpopulation of this species occurs on a renosterveld fragment surrounded by crop fields, where it was last seen in 2000. The vegetation at the site is moribund, and it is likely that the species has become dormant, and will only re-emerge once the site is burned. The site is however also overgrazed, and it is not known whether grazing is causing decline or not. It possibly occurs elsewhere in the region between Bot River and Villiersdorp, but is unlikely to be common as very little of its habitat remains intact. Searches in similar habitat have thus far failed to locate any other subpopulations.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Ixia sp. nov. (Helme 3429 NBG)CR B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)2015.1

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2016. Systematics of the southern African genus Ixia L. (Iridaceae): 5. Synopsis of section Ixia, including five new species. South African Journal of Botany 104:175-198.

von Staden, L. & Helme, N.A. 2015. Ixia helmei Goldblatt & J.C.Manning. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2018/03/24

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Distribution map

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