Scientific Name
Rafnia elliptica Thunb.
Higher Classification
Rafnia affinis Harv., Rafnia axillaris Benth., Rafnia axillaris Harv., Rafnia axillaris Thunb., Rafnia cuneifolia E.Mey. (later homonym), not of Thunb. (1800), Rafnia elliptica Benth., Rafnia elliptica Thunb. var. acuminata Harv., Rafnia elliptica Thunb. var. erecta Harv., Rafnia elliptica Thunb. var. intermedia (Walp.) Harv., Rafnia erecta Eckl. & Zeyh. (later homonym), not of Thunb. (1800), Rafnia intermedia Benth., Rafnia intermedia Vogel ex Walp., Rafnia retroflexa Eckl. & Zeyh. (later homonym), not of Thunb. (1800)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
Rafnia elliptica is widespread with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 118 951 km². It is not in danger of extinction, and is therefore listed as Least Concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape
This species is endemic to South Africa, and occurs from the Swartberg and Langeberg Mountains in the Western Cape eastwards to the southern KwaZulu-Natal coast.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Tsitsikamma Sandstone Fynbos, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Belt Grassland, Pondoland-Ugu Sandstone Coastal Sourveld, Transkei Coastal Belt, Knysna Sand Fynbos, Suurberg Quartzite Fynbos, South Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, Grahamstown Grassland Thicket, South Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos, Algoa Sandstone Fynbos, North Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos, South Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos, South Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos, Kouga Sandstone Fynbos, Kouga Grassy Sandstone Fynbos, North Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos
It occurs in sandy, grassy coastal fynbos, and in transitional vegetation between renosterveld and dry fynbos. In KwaZulu-Natal, it occurs in coastal grasslands associated with sandstone-derived soils.
Threats to Rafnia elliptica include habitat degradation, habitat loss, harvesting and invasive alien species.

There is no information available on the population of this species.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Rafnia elliptica Thunb.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Campbell, G.J. and Van Wyk, B.-E. 2001. A taxonomic revision of Rafnia (Fabaceae, Crotalarieae). South African Journal of Botany 67(2):90-149.

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.

Vlok, J. and Schutte-Vlok, A.L. 2010. Plants of the Klein Karoo. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.

von Staden, L. 2020. Rafnia elliptica Thunb. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/07/18

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Distribution map

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

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