Sekhukhune Candelabra Tree

Scientific Name
Euphorbia sekukuniensis R.A.Dyer
Higher Classification
Common Names
Sekhukhune Candelabra Tree (e), Sekhukhuni Euphorbia (e), Sekhukhuni-naboom (a), Sekoekoensnaboom (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Assessment Date
P.J.D. Winter, J.E. Victor & L. von Staden
EOO 2300 km². A habitat specialist occurring in small, isolated subpopulations scattered over a wide area which seldom consists of more than 50 mature individuals. Potentially threatened by highly destructive open cast mining of norite substrates, but at present too widespread to qualify under VU D2.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Limpopo, Mpumalanga
Sekhukhuneland, Steelpoort River Valley and along the summit of the Leolo Mountains as far as the Olifants River Valley.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Grassland, Savanna
Closed woodland and thicket, in shallow norite soils on rocky outcrops among large boulders, 900-1300 m.
This species occurs in a habitat relatively safe from expanding human settlements and the impacts of subsistence agriculture and overgrazing and is not declining (Fourie 1982, 1984). However, norite, the geological formation to which this species is restricted, is highly favoured for highly destructive open cast mining (Siebert et al. 2002b), and although very little of the habitat has been impacted by mining, mining is a significant potential threat to all subpopulations of this species.

According to Fourie (1985) there are many more subpopulations of E. sekhukhuniensis than previously thought, but the species should still be considered as rare as subpopulations are found only sporadically scattered over a wide area and seldom consist of more than 50 mature individuals.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Euphorbia sekukuniensis R.A.DyerRare Raimondo et al. (2009)
Euphorbia sekukuniensis R.A.DyerRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Euphorbia sekukuniensis R.A.DyerRare Hall et al. (1980)

Fourie, S.P. 1982. Threatened Euphorbias in the Transvaal. Aloe 19(4):111-123.

Fourie, S.P. 1984. Threatened Euphorbias of the Transvaal. The Euphorbia Journal 2:75-90.

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.

Siebert, S., Victor, J., van Wyk, B. and Bredenkamp, G. 2002. An assessment of threatened plants and conservation in Sekhukhuneland. PlantLife 26:7-18.

Siebert, S.J., van Wyk, A.E., Bredenkamp, G.J. and Siebert, F. 2003. Vegetation of the rock habitats of the Sekhukhuneland Centre of Plant Endemism, South Africa. Bothalia 33(2):207-228.

Winter, P.J.D., Victor, J.E. & von Staden, L. 2008. Euphorbia sekukuniensis R.A.Dyer. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/09/16

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Distribution map

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