Thick-leaved Forest Myrtle

Scientific Name
Eugenia umtamvunensis A.E.van Wyk
Higher Classification
Common Names
Thick-leaved Forest Myrtle (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & A.T.D. Abbott
EOO 140-660 km², AOO <50 km², known subpopulations are small and isolated and therefore considered severely fragmented. This species is restricted to a highly threatened and restricted habitat and continue to decline due to too frequent and intense grassland fires impacting on forest margins, harvesting for firewood and building materials, and alien plant invasion. Only six subpopulations in three locations are presently known but there may be a few others in inaccessible and unexplored areas of the Pondoland region.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal
Pondoland, between Umtamvuna and Mtentu Rivers.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Scarp Forest, Pondoland-Ugu Sandstone Coastal Sourveld
Pondoland scarp forest. Restricted to the margins of a particular type of kloof or ravine forest that stretch up along narrow drainage lines above the steep cliffs of the deep Pondoland gorges, Msikaba Formation Sandstone, 300-500 m.
The main threats to Pondoland woody endemics restricted to forest margins are too frequent and intense grassland fires that are causing forest margins to recede (D. Styles, C.R. Scott-Shaw pers. obs.) as well as the indiscriminate harvesting of wood for fuel and building materials (T. Abbott pers. comm.) These threats are affecting forest margins mainly in the areas between Umtamvuna and Mkambati Nature Reserves. Within the Mkambati Nature Reserve the habitat is potentially threatened by encroaching Chromolaena odorata that has invaded parts of the Mtentu River (K. van der Walt pers. obs.).

Four subpopulations are known.

Population trend
Protected in the Umtamvuna and Mkambati Nature Reserves.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Eugenia umtamvunensis A.E.van WykEN B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Eugenia umtamvunensis A.E.van WykVU Scott-Shaw (1999)
Eugenia umtamvunensis A.E.van WykRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Boon, R. 2010. Pooley's Trees of eastern South Africa. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban.

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.

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

von Staden, L. & Abbott, A.T.D. 2007. Eugenia umtamvunensis A.E.van Wyk. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/01/26

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Distribution map

© A.T.D. Abbott

© A.T.D. Abbott

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