Polygala praticola

Scientific Name
Polygala praticola Chodat
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(iii)
Assessment Date
H. Mtshali, C.R. Scott-Shaw & L. von Staden
EOO 19 466 km², between five and 10 locations continue to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation as a result of too frequent grassland fires, overgrazing, sugarcane and forestry plantations and alien plant invasion.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Dumisa to Utrecht.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Midlands Mistbelt Grassland, Northern KwaZulu-Natal Moist Grassland, Southern KwaZulu-Natal Moist Grassland, KwaZulu-Natal Sandstone Sourveld, Ngongoni Veld, Wakkerstroom Montane Grassland
Highly variable grasslands.
This species is probably extinct around Dumisa station (type locality) as this area is excessively transformed by forestry plantations, sugarcane, agriculture and alien invasive plants (C.R. Scott-Shaw pers. comm.). Field observations in areas where it has been recently discovered indicate that habitat degradation due to overgrazing, too frequent fires and alien plant invasion are serious, ongoing threats.

The distribution range, population size, and number of subpopulations belonging to this species is still somewhat uncertain. The type specimen was collected in southern KwaZulu-Natal, near Dumisa in the Umzinto District, and this is also the only locality listed in the most recent revision of the genus (Paiva 1998). J.A.R. Paiva has however subsequently confirmed that collections from as far north as Utrecht belong to this species. P. praticola is easily confused with P. rodrigueana. Severe, ongoing threats across its range indicate that the population is likely to continue to decline.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Polygala praticola ChodatData Deficient Raimondo et al. (2009)
Polygala praticola ChodatData Deficient Scott-Shaw (1999)
Polygala praticola ChodatRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Chodat, R. 1913. Polygalalaceae africanae IV. Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 48:309-336.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Paiva, J.A.R. 1998. Polygalarum africanarium et madagascariensium prodromus atque gerontogaei, generis Heterosamara Kuntze, a genere Polygala L. Segregati et a nobis denuo recepti, synopsis monographica. Fontqueria 50:1-346.

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.

Mtshali, H., Scott-Shaw, C.R. & von Staden, L. 2016. Polygala praticola Chodat. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2018/03/18

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Distribution map

© S. Parbhoo

© S. Parbhoo

© S. Parbhoo

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