Needle-leaved Poker

Scientific Name
Kniphofia ichopensis Schinz var. aciformis Codd
Higher Classification
Common Names
Needle-leaved Poker (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Data Deficient - Insufficient Information
Assessment Date
H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
A poorly known, and possibly threatened taxon, but also potentially overlooked and more common than records indicate. Based on available data, its risk of extinction cannot be assessed.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Drakensberg foothills between Mooi River and Bulwer.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Steep, south-facing slopes in Drakensberg Foothill Moist Grassland.
Parts of Drakensberg Foothill Moist Grassland have been lost to timber plantations, and the subpopulation at the type locality is possibly already locally extinct due to habitat loss to plantations, and associated spread of unmanaged, invasive pine seedlings. Its habitat is poorly protected, and also degraded in places due to overgrazing, inappropriate fire management, and spreading, unmanaged alien invasive plants.

This taxon is known from only two collections, about 50 km apart, both in Drakensberg Foothill Moist Grassland, of which about 70-80% remains intact. It is possible that this taxon may be under-sampled, and more common than records suggest, or it may be a localized habitat specialist occurring in small, isolated subpopulations. It was last collected in 1980. More surveys are needed to better estimate the size and extent of the population.

Population trend
Not known to be conserved in any formally protected areas. Its habitat is poorly protected.
Variety aciformis is easily distinguished from the widespread and more common var. ichopensis by the needle-like leaves, which is unlike any other members of the genus, and may warrant recognising this taxon as a separate species (Codd 1986).
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Kniphofia ichopensis Schinz var. aciformis CoddData Deficient 2015.1
Kniphofia ichopensis Schinz var. aciformis CoddData Deficient (Taxonomically Problematic) Raimondo et al. (2009)
Kniphofia ichopensis Schinz var. aciformis CoddLower Risk - Least Concern Scott-Shaw (1999)

Codd, L.E. 1986. LILIACEAE: Notes on Kniphofia. Bothalia 16(2):231-232.

Codd, L.E. 2005. Asphodelaceae (First part): Kniphofia. In: G. Germishuizen and B.A. Momberg (eds). Flora of southern Africa 5 Part 1, Fascicle 2:1-91. 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.

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

Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2015. Kniphofia ichopensis Schinz var. aciformis Codd. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/06/21

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Distribution map

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