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Heliophila elata

Scientific Name
Heliophila elata Sond.
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable A2c
Assessment Date
N.A. Helme & D. Raimondo
A widespread species (EOO 27 058 km²) that is becoming rarer in many areas due to habitat loss to crop cultivation. It is estimated that there has been at least a 30% population reduction in the past 20 years (generation length 15 years).
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape, Western Cape
Bokkeveld Mountains to Worcester.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Piketberg Sandstone Fynbos, Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos, Bokkeveld Sandstone Fynbos, Kouebokkeveld Shale Fynbos, Leipoldtville Sand Fynbos, Graafwater Sandstone Fynbos, Swartruggens Quartzite Fynbos, Atlantis Sand Fynbos, South Hex Sandstone Fynbos, Winterhoek Sandstone Fynbos, South Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, Hawequas Sandstone Fynbos, Matjiesfontein Quartzite Fynbos
Sandy flats, mountain plateaus and slopes.
Threatened by ongoing habitat loss to rapidly expanding rooibos tea and potato cultivation in the Sandveld and on the Bokkeveld Escarpment, as well as fruit and vineyard cultivation in the Olifants River Valley, Koue Bokkeveld and on the Piketberg. Subpopulations on slopes in montane areas such as the Cederberg, Hex River Mountains and Langeberg Mountains are not threatened.

More than 70% of subpopulations in deep sandy soils in the Olifants River valley, Sandveld and Bokkeveld Escarpment have been lost to crop cultivation in the past 20 years (N.A. Helme pers. comm. 2007). This species is however also fairly common in well-protected montane areas such as the Cederberg and Hex River Mountains, and it is therefore estimated that this loss represents a reduction of between 30 and 50% of the population. This is a long-lived woody perennial, and its generation length is estimated to be at least 15 years.

Population trend
Helme, N.A. & Raimondo, D. 2016. Heliophila elata Sond. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/12/11

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Distribution map

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