Scientific Name
Asparagus mollis (Oberm.) Fellingham & N.L.Mey.
Higher Classification
Protasparagus mollis Oberm.
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(iii,v)
Assessment Date
D. Raimondo & S.M. Burrows
A rare and poorly known species with a restricted range (EOO 2946 km²). There are fewer than 10 locations, and it continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss in the Overberg. Subpopulations in the northern part of the range are not threatened.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape, Western Cape
Southern Roggeveld Escarpment to Matjiesfontein, with an isolated subpopulation known from the central Overberg.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Tanqua Escarpment Shrubland, Matjiesfontein Shale Renosterveld, Central Mountain Shale Renosterveld, Roggeveld Shale Renosterveld, Western Ruens Shale Renosterveld
Dwyka tillite.
Suitable habitat in the Overberg have been extensively converted to crop fields in the past, and loss and degradation of the last remaining fragments continues. The species is known from one record from the Overberg, where it was last recorded in the 1980s, and it is not known how much the population has declined in this area, but decline is suspected to continue. There are no significant threats to subpopulations at Matjiesfontein and on the Roggeveld Escarpment.

This species is known from four locations, but may be overlooked and under-sampled as Asparagus is taxonomically problematic and species are difficult to identify. A large disjunction in the known distribution range suggests that there may be more subpopulations in intervening areas.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Asparagus mollis (Oberm.) Fellingham & N.L.Mey.VU B1ab(iii,v)2017.1
Asparagus mollis (Oberm.) Fellingham & N.L.Mey.Least 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. & Burrows, S.M. 2016. Asparagus mollis (Oberm.) Fellingham & N.L.Mey. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2020/07/10

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Distribution map

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