Scientific Name
Alepidea attenuata Weim.
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & P.J.D. Winter
This rare but widespread species is confined to a restricted and highly threatened habitat type that is declining due to damming, drainage for crop cultivation, trampling by cattle, disturbance as a result of fragmentation by pine plantations and alien plant invasion. Its area of occupancy (AOO) is less than 800 km² and it is known from 7-12 locations. It therefore qualifies for listing as Near Threatened under criterion B.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga
It is found in the Limpopo escarpment (Woodbush Plateau), Witwatersrand, Mpumalanga highlands (Dullstroom, Lydenburg, Machadodorp), Swaziland Highveld, northern Free State (Sasolburg) and northern KwaZulu-Natal Highveld.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
KaNgwane Montane Grassland, Wakkerstroom Montane Grassland
Plants grow in wetlands, in grassland up to 2200 m.
Wetland degradation is a severe ongoing threat to most species confined to this highly restricted and specialized habitat type. Agricultural practices can be severely destructive these include draining of wetland sites for ploughing, damming and grazing by cattle, which disturb wetland habitats by trampling. Many of the known localities of this species in Mpumalanga are in grasslands largely converted to pine plantations. Pines and other exotics extract a lot more water from the soil than natural vegetation, and may alter the hydrological dynamics, resulting in the drying up of wetlands. Harvesting activities can do irreversible damage to small wetlands close to plantations where there is no buffer zone allocated. Alien invasive species tend to spread very fast along drainage lines and wetter areas, and especially become a big problem in grasslands that have been disturbed and fragmented by pine plantations, such as in Mpumalanga and the Woodbush area in Limpopo Province. This species has declined in Gauteng due to urban expansion and habitat degradation and is thought to be locally extinct in this province (P.J.D. Winter, pers. comm.).
Population trend
It is conserved in Malalotja Nature Reserve in Swaziland and Verlorenvallei Nature Reserve in Dullstroom.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Alepidea attenuata Weim.NT B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)Raimondo et al. (2009)

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.

Weimarck, H. 1949. A revision of the genus Alepidea. Botaniska Notiser 4:217-268.

von Staden, L. & Winter, P.J.D. 2022. Alepidea attenuata Weim. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/07/18

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Distribution map

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