Scientific Name
Eucomis comosa (Houtt.) Wehrh.
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
V.L. Williams, D. Raimondo, N.R. Crouch, A.B. Cunningham, C.R. Scott-Shaw, M. Lötter & A.M. Ngwenya
Some decline has probably occurred given its prevalence in the Eastern Cape markets, but the extent of decline and time frames are not known.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal
Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Grassland, Indian Ocean Coastal Belt, Savanna
Damp, grassy hillsides.
Eucomis comosa has only recently been recorded in the Durban traditional medicine markets (e.g. von Ahlefeldt et al. 2003) and it may occur sporadically in the Johannesburg markets (it hasn't been positively identified there yet). It is, however, commonly traded in the Eastern Cape and not much of it can be found in the wild (A.P. Dold pers. comm., 2008). Dold and Cocks (2002) list it as the 58th most common species in the Eastern Cape markets, but it is sold in small quantities. Some decline has probably occurred, but the extent and time frames aren't clear. It is likely that var. striata, which has a limited distribution within KwaZulu-Natal and an EOO of ± 14 1000 km², is more vulnerable than var. comosa is due to harvesting for the medicinal plant trade. While this assessment has not considered the individual varieties, it may be of value to separate the assessments in future.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Eucomis comosa (Houtt.) Wehrh.Declining Raimondo et al. (2009)

Dold, A.P. and Cocks, M.L. 2002. The trade in medicinal plants in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. South African Journal of Science 98:589-597.

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.

Pooley, E. 1998. A field guide to wild flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern region. 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.

Reyneke, W.F. 1972. 'n Monografiese studie van die genus Eucomis L'Herit. in Suid-Afrika. Unpublished M.Sc., University of Pretoria, Pretoria.

Von Ahlefeldt, D., Crouch, N.R., Nichols, G., Symmonds, R., McKean, S., Sibiya, H. and Cele, M.P. 2003. Medicinal plants traded on South Africa's eastern seabord. Porcupine Press, Durban.

Williams, V.L., Raimondo, D., Crouch, N.R., Cunningham, A.B., Scott-Shaw, C.R., Lötter, M. & Ngwenya, A.M. 2016. Eucomis comosa (Houtt.) Wehrh. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/01/26

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Distribution map

© K. Milford

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