Swartruggens Vexator

Scientific Name
Vexatorella amoena (Rourke) Rourke
Higher Classification
Leucospermum alpinum (Salisb. ex Knight) Rourke subsp. amoenum Rourke
Common Names
Swartruggens Vexator (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, H. Mtshali & L. von Staden
Vexatorella amoena has a restricted distribution range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1791 km², but it is locally abundant. There are no current severe threats to this species, but is potentially vulnerable to competition from alien invasive plants and too frequent fires. However these threats are unlikely to rapidly cause extinction of this species within a short time frame.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species occurs in the Koue Bokkeveld and Swartruggens mountains from Wuppertal to Karoopoort in the Western Cape.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Winterhoek Sandstone Fynbos, Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos, Swartruggens Quartzite Fynbos
It occurs on sandstone slopes in montane fynbos, 1000-1500 m. Mature individuals are killed by fires, and only seeds survive. Seeds are released after ripening, and dispersed by ants to their underground nests, where they are protected from predation and fire. It is pollinated by insects.
Field observations noted alien invasive plants present in the habitat of some subpopulations, but this is not considered a severe threat at present.

This species is locally abundant, occuring as dense stands or as scattered plants (Rebelo 2001).

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Vexatorella amoena (Rourke) RourkeLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

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.

Rebelo, T. 2001. Sasol Proteas: A field guide to the proteas of southern Africa. (2nd ed.). Fernwood Press, Vlaeberg, Cape Town.

Rebelo, A.G., Mtshali, H. & von Staden, L. 2019. Vexatorella amoena (Rourke) Rourke. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2024/02/25

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Distribution map

© R.C. Turner

© R.C. Turner

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