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Sekhukhune Candelabra Tree

Taxonomy
Scientific Name
Euphorbia sekukuniensis R.A.Dyer
Higher Classification
Dicotyledons
Family
EUPHORBIACEAE
Common Names
Sekhukhune Candelabra Tree (e), Sekhukhuni Euphorbia (e), Sekhukhuni-naboom (a), Sekoekoensnaboom (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Rare
Assessment Date
2008/06/23
Assessor(s)
P.J.D. Winter, J.E. Victor & L. von Staden
Justification
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.
Distribution
Endemism
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Limpopo, Mpumalanga
Range
Sekhukhuneland, Steelpoort River Valley and along the summit of the Leolo Mountains as far as the Olifants River Valley.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Terrestrial
Major habitats
Grassland, Savanna
Description
Closed woodland and thicket, in shallow norite soils on rocky outcrops among large boulders, 900-1300 m.
Threats
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.
Population

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
Stable
Citation
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 2020/01/18

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Distribution map


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