Soapstone Pincushion

Scientific Name
Leucospermum gerrardii Stapf
Higher Classification
Common Names
Soapstone Pincushion (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened A2c
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, M. Lötter, N.A. Helme, P.M. Holmes, C.N. Forshaw, S.H. Richardson, D. Raimondo, D.I.W. Euston-Brown, J.E. Victor, W. Foden, I. Ebrahim, B. Bomhard, E.G.H. Oliver, A. Johns, J. van der Venter, R. van der Walt, C. von Witt, A.B. Low, C. Paterson-Jones, J.P. Rourke, A.N. Hitchcock, L. Potter, J.H. Vlok & D. Pillay
A population reduction of nearly 30% is estimated based on a 27% reduction in range size due to habitat loss to forestry plantations, agriculture and overgrazing in the past 100 years (generation length >100 years). Also threatened by too frequent fire.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga
Barberton and Carolina, Swaziland escarpment, Mapumulo, Ndwedwe and New Hanover.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Shallow sandstone-derived soils in Ngongoni and Mistbelt Grassland from 900-1100 m. Associated with serpentine. A resprouter that survives regular fires well. Prefers deeper soils than P. parvula.
Afforestation (Pine), agriculture (pasture), too-frequent fires, overgrazing (cattle), and naturally fragmented subpopulations threaten the survival of this species.

Locally common, but usually confined to localized subpopulations.

Population trend
The KwaZulu-Natal subpopulations have broader leaves than Swaziland-Mpumalanga subpopulations. Despite there being no subpopulations between the two 'there is a gradation' between the two subpopulations and subspecific status has not been recognized (Rourke 1972). Subspecies status should be recognized and conservation action taken accordingly.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Leucospermum gerrardii StapfNT A2cRaimondo et al. (2009)
Leucospermum gerrardii StapfVU A1cB1B2abcScott-Shaw (1999)
Leucospermum gerrardii StapfNot Threatened Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Boon, R. 2010. Pooley's Trees of eastern South Africa. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban.

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.

Scott-Shaw, C.R. 1999. Rare and threatened plants of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring regions. KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service, Pietermaritzburg.

Rebelo, A.G., Lötter, M., Helme, N.A., Holmes, P.M., Forshaw, C.N., Richardson, S.H., Raimondo, D., Euston-Brown, D.I.W., Victor, J.E., Foden, W., Ebrahim, I., Bomhard, B., Oliver, E.G.H., Johns, A., van der Venter, J., van der Walt, R., von Witt, C., Low, A.B., Paterson-Jones, C., Rourke, J.P., Hitchcock, A.N., Potter, L., Vlok, J.H. & Pillay, D. 2009. Leucospermum gerrardii Stapf. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/03/23

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Distribution map

© S. Louw

© S. Louw

© L. von Staden

© L. von Staden

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