Scientific Name
Rafnia lancea (Thunb.) DC.
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered A2c
Assessment Date
N.A. Helme & L. von Staden
A population reduction of 70-80% is estimated based on more than 80% habitat loss to agricultural expansion over three generations of this long-lived resprouter (generation length 50 years). This species is currently known from a single surviving subpopulation, although a few others may still exist.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Clanwilliam to Worcester and Faure.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Swartland Shale Renosterveld, Breede Shale Renosterveld, Ceres Shale Renosterveld, Swartland Granite Renosterveld, Swartland Alluvium Renosterveld, Breede Alluvium Renosterveld, Swartland Alluvium Fynbos, Breede Alluvium Fynbos
Renosterveld, on lower slopes and flats.
Less than 20% of this species' renosterveld habitat remains, predominantly due to loss to expanding crop cultivation. Only a few small fragments remain, and these continue to be degraded and lost to ongoing agricultural expansion, urban development, lack of fire, invasion by alien invasive plants and overgrazing.

A widespread species, but most commonly recorded in the past in the area between Tulbagh, Worcester and Joostenberg, where it has lost more than 80% of its habitat to crop cultivation. Now apparently very rare, it has been recorded only once since 1970, despite renosterveld fragments in the upper Breede River Valley, around Malmesbury and Joostenberg having been recently well surveyed. A population reduction of 70-80% is estimated over three generations (150 years) of this long-lived resprouter, based on 83% habitat loss.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Rafnia lancea (Thunb.) DC.Least Concern 2012.1
Rafnia lancea (Thunb.) DC.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.

Helme, N.A. & von Staden, L. 2013. Rafnia lancea (Thunb.) DC. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/07/18

Comment on this assessment Comment on this assessment
Distribution map

© N.A. Helme

© N.A. Helme

Search for images of Rafnia lancea on iNaturalist