Scientific Name
Moraea australis (Goldblatt) Goldblatt
Higher Classification
Gynandriris australis Goldblatt
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1b(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
C. Logie, L. von Staden & D. van der Colff
Moraea australis has a narrow coastal distribution range (EOO 3348 km² and AOO <1284 km ²). An estimated 17-20 locations continue to decline due to ongoing habitat loss to coastal development, as well as competition from alien invasive plants.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Western Cape
Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Coastal dunes.
Moraea australis is threatened by ongoing habitat loss to coastal development across its range (land cover data indicates that >52% of its habitat is already transformed). In the Cape St Francis area, plants are now largely confined to road verges, after most of its habitat has been lost to coastal development. There is ongoing disturbance of these roadside areas, particularly due to mowing, but Moraea australis appears to be fairly resilient to disturbance (C. Logie pers. obs.). A subpopulation near the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University campus in Port Elizabeth is threatened by competition from alien invasive plants.

This species was rarely collected in the past, and was known from only a few, scattered collections along the southern Cape coast. Recent field observations indicate that it is still fairly common around Cape St. Francis, where large numbers of plants persist mainly in road verges, forming one large, continuous subpopulation. These observations suggest that it is quite likely under-sampled, and much more common than the few historical collections suggest. The population however continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Moraea australis (Goldblatt) GoldblattNT B1b(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)2017.1
Moraea australis (Goldblatt) GoldblattVU B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)2015.1
Moraea australis (Goldblatt) GoldblattThreatened Raimondo et al. (2009)

Goldblatt, P. 1980. Systematics of Gynandriris (Iridaceae), a Mediterranean - southern African disjunct. Botaniska Notiser 133(3):239-260.

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.

Manning, J.C. and Goldblatt, P. 2012. Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 1: The Core Cape Flora. Strelitzia 29. 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.

Logie, C., von Staden, L. & van der Colff, D. 2016. Moraea australis (Goldblatt) Goldblatt. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2020/07/09

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Distribution map

© C. Logie

© C. Logie

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