Asparagus sekukuniensis

Scientific Name
Asparagus sekukuniensis (Oberm.) Fellingham & N.L.Mey.
Higher Classification
Protasparagus sekukuniensis Oberm.
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered A2c
Assessment Date
S.M. Burrows, J.E. Burrows, M. Lötter, D. Raimondo & L. von Staden
The habitat of this long-lived resprouter is extensively transformed and degraded by mining, informal settlements, overgrazing and crop cultivation. It had lost 58% of its habitat by 1996, and recent surveys indicate that the subpopulation at the type locality is extinct. The habitat destruction is irreversible and ongoing, as there is renewed interest in mining in Sekhukhuneland. It is however not declining at present, although there is a strong chance that the habitat will decline further in future.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Leolo Mountains, Sekhukhuneland.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Sekhukhune Plains Bushveld, Sekhukhune Mountain Bushveld
Bushveld, on rocky slopes.
Sekhukhune Plains Bushveld is one of the most threatened vegetation types of the Sekhukhune Centre of Endemism. The area around Leolo Mountain where this species occurs was already 58% transformed in 1996, mainly by mining, human settlements, cultivation and land degradation due to overgrazing of communal rangelands. The sub-population at the type locality, Driekop farm, Leolo Mountain, may be extinct, as attempts to relocate individuals have failed, and the site is completely degraded by chrome mining. Sub-populations at two other known sites at Potlake Nature Reserve are not currently declining, but there is a potential threat of mining at the site outside the reserve. According to Obermeyer and Immelman (1992), this species is harvested for medicinal use. They do not indicate, however, what part of the plant is utilised.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Asparagus sekukuniensis (Oberm.) Fellingham & N.L.Mey.EN A2cRaimondo et al. (2009)
Asparagus sekukuniensis (Oberm.) Fellingham & N.L.Mey.Insufficiently Known Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Burrows, S.M. In prep. Revision of Asparagus.

Fellingham, A.C. and Meyer, N.L. 1995. New combinations and a complete list of Asparagus species in southern Africa (Aparagaceae). Bothalia 25(2):205-209.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Obermeyer, A.A. and Immelman, K.L. 1992. Protasparagus. In: O.A. Leistner (ed). Flora of southern Africa 5 Part 3 Dracenaceae, Asparagaceae, Luzuriagaceae and Smilacaceae:11-70. 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.

Burrows, S.M., Burrows, J.E., Lötter, M., Raimondo, D. & von Staden, L. 2012. Asparagus sekukuniensis (Oberm.) Fellingham & N.L.Mey. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/06/19

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Distribution map

© J.E. Burrows

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