Aloe saundersiae

Scientific Name
Aloe saundersiae (Reynolds) Reynolds
Higher Classification
Aloe minima J.M.Wood, Leptaloe saundersiae Reynolds
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
C.R. Scott-Shaw, B. Church, D. Raimondo & L. von Staden
Known from two subpopulations on a single mountain top (EOO <20 km²). Subjected to severe ongoing overgrazing and frequent fires.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Northern Zululand Sourveld, KwaZulu-Natal Sandstone Sourveld
Mistbelt grassland, on cool, shady, south-facing slopes of granite outcrops, often in crevices and pockets of soil with moss.
Nkandla Mountain is surrounded by rural settlements and the grasslands on the mountaintop are used as communal rangelands where large herds of goats and cattle are causing severe overgrazing and trampling (C.R. Scott-Shaw pers. comm.). As a result of too-frequent burning, heavy grazing pressures and soil erosion, the plants have declined sharply in numbers over the last 20 years. The optimum habitat, consisting of steep, grassy banks below cliffs has now largely been degraded and taken over by weeds and other pioneering vegetation. The species is now confined to the least suitable habitat and may disappear from much of this too, particularly under conditions of global warming (Craib 2005).

Known from two large, relatively isolated subpopulations on Nkandla Mountain, each consisting of 500-1000 individuals (B. Church pers. comm. 2007).

Population trend
Not currently conserved in any formally protected area.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Aloe saundersiae (Reynolds) ReynoldsCR B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Aloe saundersiae (Reynolds) ReynoldsEN B1B2bcdVictor (2002)
Aloe saundersiae (Reynolds) ReynoldsEN B1B2bcd,D1Scott-Shaw (1999)
Aloe saundersiae (Reynolds) ReynoldsVulnerable Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Craib, C. 2005. Grass Aloes in the South African Veld. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.

Germishuizen, G., Meyer, N.L., Steenkamp, Y. and Keith, M. (eds). 2006. A checklist of South African plants. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 41 SABONET, Pretoria.

Glen, H.F. and Hardy, D.S. 2000. Aloaceae (First part): Aloe. In: G. Germishuizen (ed). Flora of Southern Africa 5 Part 1, Fascicle 1:1-159. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical 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.

Reynolds, G.W. 1947. Genus Leptaloe Stapf. Restoration to Aloe Linn. Journal of South African Botany 13:101-103.

Reynolds, G.W. 1969. The Aloes of South Africa. A.A. Balkema, Cape Town.

Scott-Shaw, C.R. 1999. Rare and threatened plants of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring regions. KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service, Pietermaritzburg.

Van Wyk, B.-E. and Smith, G. 1996. Guide to the aloes of South Africa. Briza Publications, Pretoria.

Victor, J.E. 2002. South Africa. In: J.S. Golding (ed), Southern African plant Red Data Lists. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 14 (pp. 93-120), SABONET, Pretoria.

Scott-Shaw, C.R., Church, B., Raimondo, D. & von Staden, L. 2007. Aloe saundersiae (Reynolds) Reynolds. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/04/23

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Distribution map

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