Scientific Name
Othonna cacalioides L.f.
Higher Classification
Othonna minima DC., Othonna pillansii Hutch.
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)
Assessment Date
E.J. van Jaarsveld, N.A. Helme, D. Raimondo & N.N. Mhlongo
This species has a limited distribution range with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1936 km² and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 64 km². It is known from between six and nine locations. It is declining due to illegal collection and habitat loss from agriculture and infrastructure development. Habitat degradation due to trampling may also impact populations of this species. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable under criterion B.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape, Western Cape
This dwarf succulent species is endemic to the Western and Northern Cape provinces of South Africa, where it occurs on arid mountain escarpments.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Citrusdal Vygieveld, Vanrhynsdorp Gannabosveld, Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos, Bokkeveld Sandstone Fynbos, Namaqualand Riviere
Plants of this species are found on shallow rock pans with a thin layer of coarse sand in quartzite pavement rocks of the Table Mountain Sandstone formation.
Illegal collecting and habitat loss due to agriculture and infrastructure development are the main threats to this species. It is popular amongst caudiciform enthusiasts and a large proportion of specimens seen on the internet are wild collected plants. While there was a past threat of infrastructure development (housing and powerlines) this pressure has now ceased, however, loss of habitat for crop cultivation is continuous. It is also potentially threatened by trampling by livestock.

There are currently nine recorded subpopulations. Thousands of plants, have been observed in one of the subpopulations. The species is not abundant in the other recorded subpopulations. It occurs as scattered subpopulations and is currently declining due to illegal collection for the succulent trade and as a result of ongoing habitat loss.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Othonna cacalioides L.f.VU D2Raimondo et al. (2009)
Othonna cacalioides L.f.VU D2Victor (2002)
Othonna cacalioides L.f.Insufficiently Known Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Othonna minima DC.Rare Hall et al. (1980)
Othonna cacalioides L.f.Uncertain Hall et al. (1980)

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

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.

Victor, J.E. 2002. South Africa. In: J.S. Golding (ed), Southern African plant Red Data Lists. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 14 (pp. 93-120), SABONET, Pretoria.

van Jaarsveld, E.J., Helme, N.A., Raimondo, D. & Mhlongo, N.N. 2022. Othonna cacalioides L.f. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/07/18

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Distribution map

© N.A. Helme

© N.A. Helme

© C. Paterson-Jones

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