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Erica trichostigma

Scientific Name
Erica trichostigma Salter
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
N.A. Helme & L. von Staden
EOO 100-200 km², AOO <10 km², one, possibly two remaining subpopulations are threatened by habitat loss to development and competition from alien invasive plants.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Langebaan to Mamre.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Saldanha Granite Strandveld, Atlantis Sand Fynbos
Loamy sands over granite on coastal flats.
There is ongoing development in the area surrounding the only known surviving subpopulation on the outskirts of Langebaan, which is endangering many local granite endemics. The subpopulation occurs on a site adjacent to the local landfill, but is currently only used for light grazing, and there are only minor infestations of alien invasive plants (N.A. Helme pers. obs. 2015). Habitat loss to development however remains a potential future threat. Competition from alien invasive plants is also likely to become a threat in future if current infestations are not controlled. Around Mamre, alien invasive plant infestations are severe, outcompeting native species, and is likely to threaten any surviving subpopulations in this area. There is also ongoing habitat loss to urban expansion to around Atlantis. One historical record suggests that this species occurs about 3 km south of Mamre, in which case it is likely to be locally extinct due to habitat loss to urban expansion.

This species is known historically from only two locations: granite outcrops to the north-east of Langebaan on the Cape West Coast, where it was first discovered in 1935, and last recorded in 1985, until a surviving subpopulation was found in this area in 2015 (N.A. Helme pers. comm. 2015). This subpopulation is not currently threatened. There are also a number of collections from the vicinity of Mamre, about 60 km further south, where it was last seen in 1967. It is possibly already locally extinct in this area, as it has not yet been found again despite intensive surveys for rare and threatened plants around Mamre.

Population trend
Helme, N.A. & von Staden, L. 2016. Erica trichostigma Salter. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2020/04/06

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Distribution map

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