Yellow Soldiers

Scientific Name
Lachenalia reflexa Thunb.
Higher Classification
Coelanthus complicatus Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.
Common Names
Yellow Soldiers (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
N.A. Helme, D. Raimondo & L. von Staden
Lachenalia reflexa has a restricted distribution range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 2446 km². It is still fairly common, with recent field surveys recording at least 20 remaining subpopulations. Most of these subpopulations are however small and isolated, and therefore the population is severely fragmented. It continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is endemic to a small area on the coastal lowlands of the Western Cape, where it occurs from Darling to the Cape Peninsula and Franschhoek.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Saldanha Flats Strandveld, Swartland Shale Renosterveld, Boland Granite Fynbos, Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, Atlantis Sand Fynbos
It occurs on seasonally inundated flats in sandy or granite derived soil.
This species has declined due to extensive historical habitat loss to urban expansion on the Cape Flats, and agriculture in the Swartland. Most remaining subpopulations occur on small, isolated lowland fynbos remnants, where they are threatened by competition from alien invasive plants, overgrazing, inappropriate fire management and pollution.

It was formerly abundant on the Cape Flats, but the population has been much reduced and fragmented due to urban expansion. Most remaining subpopulations occur in small, isolated fynbos remnants. Field surveys since 2005 recorded at least 20 remaining subpopulations. The largest, at Kenilworth Race Course, consists of more than 1000 plants, but most other subpopulations are small, consisting of between 10 and 250 plants. The remaining population is small, estimated to number fewer than 6500 mature individuals, and 60-70% of individuals are in small, isolated subpopulations, and therefore the population is severely fragmented. It continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Lachenalia reflexa Thunb.EN B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)2020.1
Lachenalia reflexa Thunb.VU B1ab(ii,iii,v)Raimondo et al. (2009)

Duncan, G.D. 1988. Lachenalia handbook. Annals of Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden 17:1-71.

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.

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.

Helme, N.A., Raimondo, D. & von Staden, L. 2020. Lachenalia reflexa Thunb. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/06/14

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Distribution map

© C. Merry

© C. Paterson-Jones

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