Dioscorea burchellii

Scientific Name
Dioscorea burchellii Baker
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & P. Wilkin
A rare, range-restricted species (EOO 1310 km²), known from fewer than 10 locations and declining due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation, as well as competition from alien invasive plants.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Western Cape
George to Humansdorp.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Tsitsikamma Sandstone Fynbos, South Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos, Knysna Sand Fynbos, Garden Route Shale Fynbos
Damp sandstone slopes in coastal fynbos.
Historically, a large proportion of this species' habitat has been converted to timber plantations, especially around George and Knysna. Plantations are no longer expanding, but are associated with severe ongoing degradation, particularly the spread of escaped seedlings, which have become invasive in many areas and are outcompeting native species. Around George it is also threatened by ongoing habitat loss to urban expansion.

This species is extremely rarely recorded, and most records are old. During recent field surveys, it was found to be extremely rare in the field, and most of its habitat is severely degraded (P. Wilkin pers. obs.). There are very few known existing locations, but it may be easily overlooked in dense fynbos. It is declining due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Dioscorea burchellii BakerLeast Concern 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.

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.

von Staden, L. & Wilkin, P. 2016. Dioscorea burchellii Baker. 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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