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Brachystelma discoideum

Scientific Name
Brachystelma discoideum R.A.Dyer
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)
Assessment Date
N. Hahn, L. Mills & L. von Staden
This species is possibly extinct at the type locality, where it has not been seen since 1968, despite many repeated searches. There are some indications that it possibly has a wider distribution in similar sandy bushveld habitat in North West and Mpumalanga provinces, but there has been no other collections or confirmed records. It is possibly extinct, but more field surveys in suitable habitat is needed.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Shoshanguve, north of Pretoria, possibly extending to western Mpumalanga and north-eastern North West Province.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Central Sandy Bushveld, Subtropical Salt Pans
Gravelly, sandy soils in bushveld.
The habitat at the type locality is protected, but is nonetheless quite degraded due to historical salt mining activities. There is also ongoing degradation due to livestock grazing in the reserve, and there is very little conservation management. Threats at Thabazimbi and KwaMhlanga are not known, as no precise locality information is available.

Tubers of species was first collected in 1968, and then established in cultivation. It flowered in December 1971, when it was recognised as a distinct species and described. Follow-up visits to the type locality however failed to locate more plants (Dyer 1980). Several further searches at the type locality have thus far also failed to locate this species (L. Mills pers. comm. 2016). There are unconfirmed reports of this species occurring near KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga (where there is similar habitat to the type locality), as well as near Thabazimbi in North West Province.

Population trend
Hahn, N., Mills, L. & von Staden, L. 2016. Brachystelma discoideum R.A.Dyer. 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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