Lachenalia mathewsii

Scientific Name
Lachenalia mathewsii W.F.Barker
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv)
Assessment Date
G.D. Duncan, I. Ebrahim, D. Raimondo, D. van der Colff & L. von Staden
Plants on two remaining fragments (EOO 2 km², AOO <1 km²) are threatened by ongoing habitat loss and degradation.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Cape Inland Salt Pans, Saldanha Granite Strandveld
Seasonally moist margins of Cape Inland Salt Pans in Saldanha Granite Strandveld.
More than 90% of this species' habitat has been lost to agricultural and urban expansion. The population survives in the last remaining fragments of its habitat. One fragment, on the edge of Vredenburg, is under development pressure - there has already been a development application on the land (I. Ebrahim pers. comm.). The second fragment is used for livestock grazing, and is potentially threatened by habitat degradation. The landowner is aware of the conservation significance of the plants, and rotates grazing, but the plants often fail to flower when the area is grazed (I. Ebrahim pers. obs.). Fire exclusion, which leads to senescence of vegetation, which often results in the disappearance of geophytic species, is a potential threat at both locations. Both sites are also infested with agricultural weeds (Duncan 2012), which could eventually outcompete native species.

This species was thought to be extinct for more than 40 years until a subpopulation was rediscovered in 1982. This subpopulation has now also gone extinct - the land was ploughed in 2006 and repeated field surveys failed to relocate it. It is currently known from two fragments about 1.5 km apart, and on both patches there are several thousand plants. If any of the two remaining fragments are lost, this species will immediately become Critically Endangered. None of its habitat is formally protected, and its survival depends on the preservation of these last remaining fragments.

Population trend
Not currently conserved in any formally protected area.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Lachenalia mathewsii W.F.BarkerEN B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv)2015.1
Lachenalia mathewsii W.F.BarkerCR B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Lachenalia mathewsii W.F.BarkerEndangered Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Lachenalia mathewsii W.F.BarkerExtinct Hall et al. (1980)

Barker, L.M.W. 1986. The re-discovery Lachenalia mathewsii W.Barker. Veld & Flora 72:40-41.

Duncan, G.D. 2012. The genus Lachenalia. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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.

Smuts, L.M. 1996. Fact Sheet: Lachenalia mathewsii. Information System for Endangered Plants (ISEP). Cape Nature Conservation.

Duncan, G.D., Ebrahim, I., Raimondo, D., van der Colff, D. & von Staden, L. 2015. Lachenalia mathewsii W.F.Barker. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/08/22

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Distribution map

© I. Ebrahim

© I. Ebrahim

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