Hottentot's Cherry

Scientific Name
Maurocenia frangula Mill.
Higher Classification
Cassine maurocenia L., Maurocenia capensis Sond., Maurocenia frangularia Willd.
Common Names
Aasvoëlbessie (a), Hottentot's Cherry (e), Hottentotskersie (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
R.H. Archer, J.E. Victor & L. von Staden
Maurocenia frangula is a range-restricted (EOO 4800 km²), but common species, particularly on the Cape Peninsula. Some subpopulations are threatened by habitat loss to coastal development and urban expansion, but most of this species' habitat is protected and it is unlikely to decline to extinction.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Cape Peninsula, Vredenburg Peninsula and Jonkershoek near Stellenbosch.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Forest, Fynbos
Forested ravines on mountain slopes, and rocky areas near the seashore.
This species has declined due to urban expansion on the Cape Peninsula in the past, but most of its habitat is now protected within the Table Mountain National Park, and habitat loss is no longer a severe threat in this area. Subpopulations at Yzerfontein and Jacobsbaai on the West Coast are threatened by sporadic, ongoing habitat loss mainly to coastal development, but they represent a small proportion of the population.

This species is widespread and common across the Cape Peninsula, where most of its habitat is protected within the Table Mountain National Park. It's habitat is also protected at Jonkershoek and within the West Coast National Park. Although a few subpopulations outside of protected areas are threatened by ongoing habitat loss, enough of this species' habitat is conserved so that it is unlikely to decline to extinction.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Maurocenia frangula Mill.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Archer, R.H. and Van Wyk, A.E. 1998. A taxonomic revision of Maurocenia (Celastraceae), a Western Cape monotypic endemic. Bothalia 28(1):7-10.

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.

Archer, R.H., Victor, J.E. & von Staden, L. 2016. Maurocenia frangula Mill. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/03/23

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Distribution map

© J.G. Claassens

© J.G. Claassens

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