Cullen holubii

Scientific Name
Cullen holubii (Burtt Davy) C.H.Stirt.
Higher Classification
Psoralea holubii Burtt Davy
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
A range-restricted species, known from eight locations, but probably still extant at only five. Its EOO is 7484 km², and it continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Limpopo, North West
Zeerust to Bela Bela.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Zeerust Thornveld, Springbokvlakte Thornveld
Bushveld on sandy flats.
The habitat of this species is at least 60% transformed and is classified as endangered by the National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment (Rouget et al. 2004). Most of the past transformation is as a result of agriculture, but there is also likely to be ongoing habitat loss due to expanding rural settlements, overgrazing and alien invasive encroachment (Mucina and Rutherford 2006).

One collection cited by Burtt Davy (1932) is from the Zeerust district near the border with Botswana. All other known collections of this species are however from the Springbokvlakte between Bela Bela and Pretoria, where subpopulations of this species are threatened by ongoing habitat loss and degradation. The north-eastern regions of North West province is comparatively much more poorly explored, and it is possible that this species may be overlooked in these areas, but suitable habitat around Zeerust is also extensively transformed and degraded.

Population trend
Grimes (1997) includes C. holubii within the widespread and variable C. tomentosa, but mentions that it is aberrant in some respects, and that more collections may prove it to be distinct. Hahn (2013) also argues that the two species are conspecific. Verdcourt (2000) however argues that C. holubii is sufficiently distinct from C. tomentosa. Grimes's revision of the genus (Grimes 1997) focused largely on Australian species, and the southern African members of this genus remains taxonomically poorly resolved.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Cullen holubii (Burtt Davy) C.H.Stirt.VU B1ab(iii)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Cullen holubii (Burtt Davy) C.H.Stirt.Endangered Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Burtt Davy, J. 1932. A manual of the flowering plants and ferns of the Transvaal with Swaziland, South Africa. Part II. Malvaceae-Umbelliferae. Longmans, Green & Co., London.

Grimes, J.W. 1997. A Revision of Cullen (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae). Australian Systematic Botany 10(4):565-648.

Hahn, N. 2013. Rare, endangered and endemic flora of the North West Province. Unpublished Report to the Department of Economic Development, Conservation and Tourism, North West Provincial Government.

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

Mucina, L. and Rutherford, M.C. (eds). 2006. The vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19. South African National Biodiversity 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.

Rouget, M., Reyers, B., Jonas, Z., Desmet, P., Driver, A., Maze, K., Egoh, B. and Cowling, R.M. 2004. South African National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment 2004: Technical Report. Volume 1: Terrestrial component. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Stirton, C.H. 1981. Studies in the Leguminosae - Papilionoideae of southern Africa. Bothalia 13(3&4):317-325.

Verdcourt, B. 2000. Psoraleeae. In: G.V. Pope (ed). Flora Zambesiaca 3 (Part 6):43-50. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

von Staden, L. 2016. Cullen holubii (Burtt Davy) C.H.Stirt. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/07/22

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Distribution map

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