Scientific Name
Cotula paludosa Hilliard
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1b(iii)+2ab(iii)
Assessment Date
H. Mtshali
Cotula paludosa has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 12 838 km², and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 16 km². It is known from fewer than 10 locations and is declining due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal
This species is endemic to the summit of the Drakensberg Mountains, from the vicinity of Sani Pass on the border between KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho, southwards to the Barkley East district in the Eastern Cape.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Lesotho Highland Basalt Grassland
It occurs in shallow standing water, often filling depressions in high altitude montane grassland.
In KwaZulu-Natal, this species' habitat is well-protected in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg National Park, but outside protected areas, in Lesotho and the Eastern Cape, there is ongoing habitat loss and degradation, mainly due to overgrazing. Overgrazing is causing erosion in this species' habitat (Grab and Deschamps 2018), and overgrazed areas are being colonized by alien invasive species, that are outcompeting native species.

This species is localized, but is locally common in suitable habitat. It is known from only a few, widely scattered records. It is possibly overlooked as its habitat is in a remote and inaccessible area, and more field surveys are needed to gain a better understanding of the population size and structure. A continuing decline is inferred from ongoing habitat degradation.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Cotula paludosa HilliardVU B1b(iii)+2ab(iii)2020.1
Cotula paludosa HilliardNT B1ab(iii)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Cotula paludosa HilliardLower Risk - Least Concern Scott-Shaw (1999)

Carbutt, C. and Edwards, T.J. 2006. The endemic and near-endemic angiosperms of the Drakensberg Alpine Centre. South African Journal of Botany 72:105-132.

Cook, C.D.K. 2004. Aquatic and wetland plants of southern Africa. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Grab, S.W. and Deschamps, C.L. 2004. Geomorphological and geoecological controls and processes following gully development in Alpine Mires, Lesotho. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 36(1):49-58.

Hilliard, O.M. 1977. Compositae in Natal. University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg.

Hilliard, O.M. and Burtt, B.L. 1973. Notes on some plants of Southern Africa chiefly from Natal: III. Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 32(3):303-387.

Pooley, E. 2003. Mountain flowers: a field guide to the flora of the Drakensberg and Lesotho. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

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.

Sieben, E.J.J. 2009. The status and distribution of vascular plants (Magnoliophyta, Lycophyta, Pteridophyta). In: W.R.T. Darwall, K.G. Smith, D. Tweddle and P. Skelton (eds.), The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in southern Africa (pp. 83-98), IUCN and SAIAB, Gland, Switzerland and Grahamstown, South Africa.

Mtshali, H. 2019. Cotula paludosa Hilliard. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/05/18

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Distribution map

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