Scientific Name
Euphorbia suffulta Bruyns
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(iii)
Assessment Date
D. Raimondo
Euphorbia suffulta has a restricted range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 3495 km². It is known from five locations, but is likely to be more common as its range is botanically poorly explored. It is declining due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation, and is also potentially vulnerable to prolonged droughts. It is listed as Vulnerable under criteria B1ab(iii).
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is endemic to the Great Karoo in South Africa, where it occurs in a small area between Merweville and Klaarstroom.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Gamka Karoo, Southern Karoo Riviere, Gamka Arid Thicket
It occurs on stony gentle slopes, often inside other bushes.
There is ongoing degradation of this species' habitat as a result of livestock overgrazing and the increased intensity and duration of droughts. For example, rainfall has been extremely low (50% of the expected average) for four years between 2016 and 2019. Furthermore, its entire known range falls within an area earmarked for shale gas fracking, which could potentially have a severe impact on this species in future. A Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment submitted to South Africa's Department of Environment Affairs in 2016 cautioned against the authorisation of shale gas fracking, based on the very high infrastructure costs associated with fracking as well as multiple secondary negative impacts both to biodiversity and other economic activities in the region. Furthermore, subsequent geological studies have found that gas deposits are not as substantial as originally suspected due to the very old age of the Karoo shale formations, and the effect of widespread dolerite intrusions that resulted in much of the gas being lost. At present, future development scenarios are too uncertain to estimate the potential extent of the impact on the population but it is unlikely that shale gas fracking will proceed in the near future.

Euphorbia suffulta is known from only a few records, but it is likely to be more common as it is easily overlooked when it grows sheltered under larger shrubs, and its range is botanically poorly explored. A continuing decline is inferred from ongoing habitat degradation.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Euphorbia suffulta BruynsVU B1ab(iii)2020.1
Euphorbia suffulta BruynsLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

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.

Snijman, D.A. 2013. Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 2: The extra Cape flora. Strelitzia 30. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Raimondo, D. 2019. Euphorbia suffulta Bruyns. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/06/14

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Distribution map

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