Taxonomy
Scientific Name
Brachystelma modestum R.A.Dyer
Higher Classification
Dicotyledons
Family
APOCYNACEAE
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1ab(iii,v)
Assessment Date
2007/05/15
Assessor(s)
C.R. Scott-Shaw, D. Styles & L. von Staden
Justification
EOO 3 300 km², known from very few records, but may be under-collected. An estimate of 10-15 locations remain. There is a continuing decline in habitat quality and number of mature individuals due to severe overgrazing and trampling by cattle.
Distribution
Endemism
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
KwaZulu-Natal
Range
Nkandla to Noodsberg, and a disjunct record from uMzinto.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Terrestrial
Major habitats
Grassland
Description
Grassland, grows in shallow soils among rocks, Natal Group Sandstone, 900-1 200 m.
Threats
This species is restricted to drier sandstone grasslands in areas that are mostly unsuitable for growing of crops. These areas have traditionally been utilized as communal rangelands. However, with increasingly dense rural populations in KwaZulu-Natal, the pressures on these grasslands have increased as the numbers of livestock grazing the land have increased with the increasing human population (D. Styles pers. comm. 2007). Many of these areas, for example the Tugela River Valley just east of Kranskop, as well as the Ndwedwe district (Noodsberg and Little Noodsberg) have become severely degraded as a result of overgrazing. The shallow soils in which this species grows are particularly sensitive to trampling. According to personal observations by David Styles, the tubers are easily dislodged from the shallow pockets of soil in which it grows and trampled to pieces by cattle. This is likely to cause an ongoing decline in the number of mature individuals. In the uMzinto district much of the sandstone grasslands have been converted to pine plantations and sugarcane..
Population
Population trend
Decreasing
Conservation
Not currently conserved in any formally protected area.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Brachystelma modestum R.A.DyerNT B1ab(iii,v)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Brachystelma modestum R.A.DyerLower Risk - Near Threatened Scott-Shaw (1999)
Bibliography

Dyer, R.A. 1980. Brachystelma, Ceropegia and Riocreuxia. In: O.A. Leistner (ed). Flora of Southern Africa 27 Part 4:1-88. Botanical Research Institute, Pretoria.


Dyer, R.A. 1983. Ceropegia, Brachystelma and Riocreuxia in southern Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands.


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.


Mucina, L. and Rutherford, M.C. (eds). 2006. The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. 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.


Citation
Scott-Shaw, C.R., Styles, D. & von Staden, L. 2007. Brachystelma modestum R.A.Dyer. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/02/08

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Distribution map

© H. Mtshali

© H. Mtshali

© H. Mtshali

© J. Stephenson

© S. Louw

© S. Louw

© D. Styles

© D. Styles

© D. Styles


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